Welcome to Mackintosh

All the traveling (and walking) was starting to catch up to us, so we slept in a bit, then started cooking a big breakfast. When at the store, I found a thing called the “Traditional Breakfast Pack” including Pork Sausage, Beef Lorne, Fruit Pudding (not actual pudding), and Black Pudding (also not pudding). This and a couple of eggs was just what the doctor ordered, assuming that the Doctor was Scottish and making you breakfast.

We started the day back on the main shopping street, Buchanan St. It was vaguely reminiscent of Paris, since there was a lot of art nouveau architecture due to the influence of Rene Mackintosh. We walked all the way to the end and had coffee in another Cafe Nero that was built into a little castle-looking structure that apparently used to be the subway entrance.

After a quick refresh we went back up the pedestrian mall to the main shopping center, and caught the metro out to the West End. The Metro itself was amazingly small. I swear the cars were about 5 feet tall, with doors that curved up the whole side so you could get in without crawling on the floor. Apparently they bought the whole system from the Mines of Moria when that place closed down.

It was fast though, and we were at our station quickly. I had advice from one of my buddies at Microsoft, Gerry, who is a local to Glasgow, that we should start at the Hillhead station, but I had a walking tour in my guide book that started at St. George’s Cross station, so instead of listening to the local, I followed the book.

Idiot.

St. George’s Cross was not what I would exactly call in a great part of town. We tried looking for the items on the walking tour, but we gave up as the neighborhood was pretty beat up, and just made for the cafe street recommended on our guidemap. This was a bit of a walk, and we were hungry for a good meal by the time we got there. This too, was not what I would call a very happy area.

We asked one of the passing locals where the better places to eat were, and in a dramatic change of pace, we actually started following the local’s advice. We walked past the university, and found an excellent street filled with shops and restaurants. It was full of students in Cap and Gown and their parents, as it was apparently Graduation day. It was really cool. Everyone was out having a great time and celebrating, and we found a nice place in a funky alley a few blocks down called “The Bothy” that had a great 2-course lunch meal, and was pretty swank to boot. After resting, having some great food and a few drinks, we headed back out to check out the area. I could see a subway station across the street.

Naturally, it was Hillhead.

We walked around for a bit, then hit the Hunterian Art Gallery to see the Mackintosh House. Apparently, after Rene Mackintosh died, large parts of his house were saved from demolition, along with the matching furniture, and the were assembled in full inside the gallery. Bits of the house poke out of that wing of the gallery, including the windows, and front door, which is about 10 feet off the ground, if it opened.

The exhibit is fantastic, very reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s house in Oak Park. All the furniture is made specifically for the house, in an amazing art nouveau style. The rest of the gallery was excellent as well, including a huge exhibit of Whistler’s work. Once we finished with the Gallery, we were beat and caught the train back at Hillhead to the center of town. We went to a local Tesco Grocery, bought some dinner, and headed back to the apartment.

I made us dinner of Steaks, Mushrooms, and Haggis Patties. This was my first exposure to Haggis, and it’s pretty good actually. Liver, Heart, Oats, and other ground up animal bits. My kind of food.

As a bonus, the TV was working again, so we watched a few movies and sacked out. Yulia and Sasha let me finish their Haggis for some reason.

Can’t imagine why.