Although I am a country girl by choice, I am also a city girl by birth. This means that ever so often, I crave a city to wander the streets, look at the shops and experience some culture. This does not mean that there is no culture in the country but there’s nothing quite like a city with its accumulation of museums, libraries and art collections.
Today, I decided to go to Glasgow to give myself a desperately needed culture injection. It was over a decade ago that I first visited Glasgow and let me tell you it was anything but love at first sight. Quite the opposite really, I have been avoiding Glasgow like the plague ever since. But I have grown up since then and I always wanted to see Kelvingrove Museum and Art Collection, which is why I chose to go to Glasgow today.
Let me tell you Kelvingrove is fantastic. What an amazing place. The art is sublime and the fact that you don’t have to pay for admission is just and added bonus (btw you don’t pay on admission at the National Gallery and the National Museum in Edinburgh either).
The best bit of the museum was right at the beginning. We just started wandering through the “Looking at Art” wing of the ground floor when I turned around and from the corner of my eye caught a glimpse at a portrait that made my heart skip a beat. Literally, it skipped a beat and gave me butterflies in my stomach. It was one if not the most famous portrait of Thomas Carlyle. I don’t care if you roll your eyes, laugh at or frown upon me, I have a serious author-crush on Thomas Carlyle and no anachronistic nazi-appropriation can change my mind.
Unfortunately, the rest of our Glasgow trip wasn’t at all nice. We intended to see the Cathedral but got caught in the rain and got lost more than once that we gave up and went back to the car and home (the latter is not Glasgow’s fault but simply caused by my inability to read the map properly in the downpour with umbrella tucked under my ear). I have to say that despite the fact that Kelvingrove gave me a reason to return to the city in the near future, I know that Glasgow will never be a place I 100% love to visit. It is simply to big, full and dirty. Especially, the city centre is a big disappointment. However, the Kelvingrove/Kelvin Hall/Kelvin Bridge area is really nice and the fact that it is next to Glasgow University gives it a very fresh and hip vibe. We saw so many nice cafés and restaurants. We had our dinner (that’s Scots for lunch) in a biker café called Siempre and the food was really good.
I am sure I will return to Glasgow this summer as I definitely want to check out the cathedral and the museums around it but I will stay clear of the city centre in order to avoid any unnecessary disappointment. Glasgow deserves a chance after all and I should not let the disdain for its awful city centre keep me from appreciating what Glasgow has to offer.