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 Post subject: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:01 pm 
Chard Martyr
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Talk to me about it. Where should I fly into the UK (from Chicago)?
Where should I stay? (I'm on a budget, obvs).
What is the best time of year to visit?
What else do I need to know?

And.... I think that I'd maybe like to go to the highlands and mountains... would I be able to drive there, if I am a licensed driver in the U.S.? I've never traveled Internationally before.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:43 pm 
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i've been going to the UK regularly for almost 4 years, and sadly i've never been north of Birmingham. but based on various things i've heard:

- Glasgow (as well as the rest of Scotland) is quite cold and damp in the winter, so that's probably not the best time to visit. it can even be chilly in the summer, though the days are awesomely long at 50+ degrees north.

- Glasgow seems to have a good amount of vegan options. i'm a map nerd, so i've compiled a bunch of veg-friendly shops and eateries here: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8& ... 6e028b&z=6 (it's for all of the UK, but you can zoom in on the Glasgow cluster).

- Edinburgh and Glasgow both have major international airports. check your local airport(s) and see where they fly.


and yeah, you can drive on an American license. just try not to clip any parked cars like i did.

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:59 am 
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Fly into Glasgow Prestwick or Edinburgh and take the bus or train. Flight prices tend to be pretty much the same for both (at least, when I've looked for flights out to America).

Stay with interrobang?!? Other than that, she or canuck_in_scotland will probably know the best places to stay based on neighborhoods and such.

Unless you really like the heat, avoid the end of June and most of July. That's when it's hottest, and most places don't have a/c.

April-May(ish) - It's just starting to warm up properly (light jacket over a t-shirt weather). The cherry blossoms are blooming, as are most of the other flowers. September has the same weather, but there aren't as many flowers in bloom. If you were there in June, you could pop over to Edinburgh for the film festival (Glasgow Film Festival just ended), or in August for the 5 other festivals happening in Edinburgh.

You'll be able to drive on a US license, but most places will have manual transmission rentals, though I'm pretty sure you can get automatic if you need it.

What else you should know - If you're in a pub and want a screwdriver, ask for a vodka and orange. Ken means know (ya ken what I mean?). Greet means cry. Uhhh...I've lived here too long to remember being here for the first time and all the things I said and did to make an asparagus of myself.

But if you do go to Glasgow, hit up Edinburgh and visit me! Or I can come through and we can have a waffle party at interrobang?!'s place. Edinburgh is really close (about an hour± on the train depending on which station you travel from, about 90 minutes on the bus).

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:31 am 
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I'm at work and dealing with a bucket load of nonsense right now so I'll wait til I get home to write a bunch of stuff... it's a shame you're not over here just now as it's a lovely day with clear blue skies and not particularly cold at all! I'll get Steffers to come tell you about driving to the Highlands in a manual car since she did it a couple of years ago. If you do want to go up North I would maybe pass on summer if you'd prefer to avoid being followed around by great hoards of midges though...

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:36 am 
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Meggs wrote:
What else do I need to know?

And.... I think that I'd maybe like to go to the highlands and mountains... would I be able to drive there, if I am a licensed driver in the U.S.? I've never traveled Internationally before.

Thanks!


If you want to go into the highlands / mountains you might want to bring protection for the midges.
Seems that early and late in the year they aren't that active or around.
(midges are almost invisible insects that will "eat you alive")

When do you plan to visit?


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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:49 am 
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Veg_Eric wrote:
(midges are almost invisible insects that will "eat you alive")


Yeah they're evil wee mustards. Although, weirdly, I've never been bitten by them even when walking through huge swarms. I'm going to claim that as my super-power. It's a pretty shiitake super-power, but it's better than nothing.

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:44 am 
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Apparently it depends on the sweetness of your blood.

Do I smell a Glasgow meet?


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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:49 am 
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EmperorTomatoKetchup wrote:

- Glasgow (as well as the rest of Scotland) is quite cold and damp in the winter, so that's probably not the best time to visit. it can even be chilly in the summer, though the days are awesomely long at 50+ degrees north.


Hopefully you're not coming for the weather. You will be so, so lucky if you get anything resembling 'American summer weather' if you come during June-Aug but give it a shot! A really good time to come would be during the 'West End Festival' where there's a lot of stuff going on. Also, Edinburgh is only an hour away and their Fringe Fest is REALLY worth seeing. (They've both got Google sites.)

EmperorTomatoKetchup wrote:
- Glasgow seems to have a good amount of vegan options. i'm a map nerd, so i've compiled a bunch of veg-friendly shops and eateries here: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8& ... 6e028b&z=6 (it's for all of the UK, but you can zoom in on the Glasgow cluster).


I'm all about the 78 on Kelvinhaugh St. You can get your haggis fix there as well, which you might as well do if you're going to be in Scotland. It, and it's sister pubs (Stereo & Mono) do completley vegan menus. Indian restaurants in Glasgow are widely accepted as the best in the UK (as in... better than London). Mother India's Café and Balbir's are my personal favourites but there are loads of good ones.

Here's a great blog about Glasgow curry houses.

If you're REALLY on a budget the Euro Hostel is cheapcheapcheap. I stayed there for a few days when I first moved here and it was totally fine/clean. But I had just turned twenty and had much lower standards in those days. At work we book people into the Kirklee Hotel and it's not too expensive, the staff are very friendly, and the rooms are meant to be nice enough to boot.

My favourite tourist trap is Tenement House. Going for a walk through Kelvingrove Park on a sunny day is really nice. Highly reccomend (!) going to the Stand comedy club on a Friday or Saturday night (although some of the Canadian visitors I've had in the past have struggled a bit with the regional accent).

ETA: I too will add more as and when I think of stuff...

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:04 am 
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canuck in scotland wrote:
Indian restaurants in Glasgow are widely accepted as the best in the UK (as in... better than London).


slightly off-topic, but no. yeah, better than london (that's not difficult to be fair!) but best in the UK? very contentious. bradford, birmingham and manchester would all disagree with that. anyway, sorry!

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:11 am 
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Veg_Eric wrote:
When do you plan to visit?
Whenever I can get a cheap flight and as long as I'm still unemployed... which is looking great!

Thank you for the information, ETK!

I don't drink, Rachell, so that shouldn't be a problem.... now I'm a wee bit afraid of these bugs y'all speak of, though. I do like the heat, so I don't mind hot weather. Waffle party?? Fun times!

fezza wrote:
Do I smell a Glasgow meet?
I'd never travel all that way without making a stop in Belfast, if you couldn't make it to Glasgow. Hmm... I should check flights that make stops... I don't mind layovers.

Thank you for the ideas and links, C_F_S! I will check those out. I'm most concerned with airfare, as it seems really expensive (I don't mind staying somewhere sorta ick/meh, as I plan on being out most of the time, hopefully), but I guess it's not that bad if I can try to stay for 10+ days. I could probably cause a lot of damage experience a lot in that amount of time and make it worth the money.


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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:49 am 
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Meggs wrote:
now I'm a wee bit afraid of these bugs y'all speak of, though.


raawwrr! (artist's impression)
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:51 am 
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xherbivorex wrote:
canuck in scotland wrote:
Indian restaurants in Glasgow are widely accepted as the best in the UK (as in... better than London).


slightly off-topic, but no. yeah, better than london (that's not difficult to be fair!) but best in the UK? very contentious. bradford, birmingham and manchester would all disagree with that. anyway, sorry!


Beat me to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:38 am 
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Efcliz wrote:
xherbivorex wrote:
canuck in scotland wrote:
Indian restaurants in Glasgow are widely accepted as the best in the UK (as in... better than London).


slightly off-topic, but no. yeah, better than london (that's not difficult to be fair!) but best in the UK? very contentious. bradford, birmingham and manchester would all disagree with that. anyway, sorry!


Beat me to it.


BBC News wrote:

Glasgow wins title of Curry Capital of Britain

Glasgow has been named Curry Capital of Britain for a record fourth time in the past 10 years.

It fought off competition from 11 other UK cities to take the title which was being run during National Curry Week.

Link

Four years running! GLASGOOOOOOOOW REPRESENT!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:07 am 
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fair enough i suppose!
i've still had tons of way better curries in both bradford and manchester than glasgow though, so y'know... haha!

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:20 am 
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Meggs wrote:
Talk to me about it. Where should I fly into the UK (from Chicago)?
Where should I stay? (I'm on a budget, obvs).
What is the best time of year to visit?
What else do I need to know?

And.... I think that I'd maybe like to go to the highlands and mountains... would I be able to drive there, if I am a licensed driver in the U.S.? I've never traveled Internationally before.

Thanks!


Hello Meggs!

We went to Glasgow in 2009 (and met that sweet thing Interrobang?!) and we were on an extreme budget. If you're flying out of Chicago, get a flight to Dublin on Aer Lingus and then hop over to Glasgow on one of their super cheap fares. I think our tickets were something like 99 euros for the both of us?

We stayed at the Charing Cross Guest house, it was very clean and quiet and a double ensuite was super cheap. http://www.glasgow-guesthouse.net/ (I have no idea how to make the linky thing). They have no curfew and there's somebody at the desk 24/7, which is awesome in the event of an emergency (which we had!). We were able to walk everywhere that we wanted to go, which was a major plus. A quick search for two nights with a private bathroom was 70 euro total. They have a full breakfast, but I'm pretty sure the tomatoes are the only things safe to eat! To save money, we bought bread and pb and ate that a lot.

We went in May, and it was a little bit rainy in Glasgow but GORGEOUS in the Highlands. We stayed at a super nice "castle" hotel up by Inverness that was a little bit spendy, but it was close to Urquhart castle and had the comfiest bed I have ever known.

We also had a car! It's super easy to pick up driving on the wrong side. If you don't know how to drive a stick, learn before you go as automatics are expensive to rent. The most important thing is to remember to look the wrong way before pulling out into traffic and watch which lane you're pulling into :-) The stick configuration is the same as here, it's just you're shifting with your left hand instead of your right. Also, the roads can get a bit narrower than they are here, and the drivers are not exactly pushy, but they're grateful when you pull off the road to let them pass. Your license here is just fine for over there.

In Glasgow, we only visited one museum, but it was gorgeous. It was the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and it was free (!) with a suggested $2 or 2 euro donation. We also met up with interrobang?! twice and she was super sweet. She brought us cookies and Irn Bru.


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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:21 am 
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ps you are totally welcome to pm me any other questions! I am the budget traveller extreme.


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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:35 pm 
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Please no fighting. This is a peaceful thread. About Scotland.

Steffers! Thank you very much! The airfare/how to fly there part is very useful. Just randomly searching for flights to, say, "any airport in England," has produced such varying/random results, price-wise. I appreciate the idea of flying into Ireland first (FEZZAAAA!) and then on to Scotland.
Oh no, I haven't driven a manual shift in ages. I'm definitely not too proud to pull over and let people pass me.

Ok, I have a lot of research to do!
Steffers! wrote:
ps you are totally welcome to pm me any other questions! I am the budget traveller extreme.
Thank you!

Also, monster midge is scary. Nightmares.


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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:11 pm 
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Yay, Steffers! :) You know, I'm actually better at meeting ppkers than I was when I met you all that time ago (my first ppker!). I was embarrassingly lame when I met you, haha. Hopefully I shall get to rectify the situation if I work out how to get to Europe in the summer!

Meggs, if you can find some miracle cure for your kity allergy of course you would be more than welcome to stay with me, as I've said, but assuming that's not going to happen...

I can't recommend accomodation in Glasgow, really, as I've never been here on holiday BUT I was thinking and for cheapness perhaps the university halls of accomodation might work? Obviously this would only apply in the summer vacation time and I'm not sure if they accept single travellers but it might be worth enquiring. You could even stay in the accomodation I lived in as an undergrad! More info here for Glasgow Uni, I'd imagine Strathclyde and Caledonian unis do similar if you search around on t'internets. I've stayed in London university halls before when going down there for gigs and I imagine it'd be pretty similar and not at all bad.

Art galleries/museums here are generally free so great places to see on a budget. If you visit Kelvingrove you can see Dali's Christ of Saint John of the Cross, which is pretty spectacular.

For food, Mono, Stereo and the 78 are all totally vegan and the 13th Note (don't order the vegan cheesecake) is vegetarian with vegan options (used to be completely vegan many years ago, but we don't like to talk about that...) In addition, Nice n Sleazy and The Left Bank are omni with specific vegan options marked on their menus. Obviously there's a tonne more places than that, but you get the idea.

That's great you could fly into Dublin- I was pokin' about earlier and everything seemed to be via Heathrow. You should totally go up to Belfast and then hop over from there via Easyjet for about £20- they fly into Glasgow Airport rather than Prestwick and really it's always a good idea to avoid Prestwick if you are able.

Oh, and if you come over while I'm working I'll take you up to level 12 of the library and show you a good time. If you know what I mean...

(I mean that it has spectacular views over the city and vegan sandwiches in the cafe. Why, what did you think I meant?)

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:29 pm 
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Oh, and obviously we will be recreating this spectacular video in my (Southside!) flat...




I'm going to have to find some weird pictures of babies to stick on my wall first though.

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:43 pm 
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interrobang?! wrote:
the 13th Note (don't order the vegan cheesecake)


*shudder* I still have nightmares. A cake made with yoghurt. fork off.

interrobang?! wrote:
(I mean that it has spectacular views over the city and vegan sandwiches in the cafe. Why, what did you think I meant?)


They have a forking cafe up there? I'M COMING TO SEE YOU. I've never been on level 12!

Meggs wrote:
Please no fighting. This is a peaceful thread. About Scotland.


Oh! That reminds me... you should get yourself to an Old Firm match while you're here!

(Seriously, that wasn't fighting was it? I thought it was just light-hearted nationalism...)

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:09 pm 
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Sorry, I was just talking about the cafe on level 3! You should still come visit me on a Saturday though, then we will go get some of that falafel on Gibson Street you were talking about (still haven't been!) Incidentally, and of little relevance to anyone else in this thread, I was forking RAGING on Saturday. Have you seen that roast veggie and rocket sammich they made? The roast veggie and rocket sammich with frickin' COTTAGE CHEESE in it?!?! Who the fork puts cottage cheese on a piece anyway? Or eats it any time ever? Man, I nearly had a hairy fit.

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:12 pm 
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Further, anyone who comes to see me can have their own special magical libbery card made up and get to be special guest announcer on the tannoy at 4.35pm. You know you want that.

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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:20 pm 
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interrobang?! wrote:
Further, anyone who comes to see me can have their own special magical libbery card made up and get to be special guest announcer on the tannoy at 4.35pm. You know you want that.


*starts making vacation plans


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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:34 pm 
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interrobang?! wrote:
Further, anyone who comes to see me can have their own special magical libbery card made up and get to be special guest announcer on the tannoy at 4.35pm. You know you want that.
Robotic voice-activated lift voices.... just what people want to hear.

I just need to pull the trigger and do this. So many things to do in Sccooooo(t)llllaaannnnddddd!
The thought of driving a manual car is freaking me out a little, but I'll put that out of my head for now. I have legs if all else fails.


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 Post subject: Re: Glasgow, Scotland.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:50 pm 
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interrobang?! wrote:
Further, anyone who comes to see me can have their own special magical libbery card made up and get to be special guest announcer on the tannoy at 4.35pm. You know you want that.


Now even I am thinking of visiting (and I never leave my post code).

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