After a little over 22 years on this Earth, my best friend Sam and I decided it was about time we visited Scotland.
But where do you begin with an entire country? We decided on making a loop, a bit of a taster session to see if we liked the place. With a looped route however you never visit the same area twice, and i'm not sure I believe in first impressions. But with a country that seems so close yet so far, a seven hour drive stood between home and us having a whole country to explore. We thought we would begin with Glasgow. Having a reputation for being a bit 'rough' we were cautious, but I think it's safe to say that every town or city has its 'areas'. Glasgow is a busy city, the busiest we experienced during our time in Scotland and there's lots to see. We decided on the Botanical Gardens and to taste a bit of the night life. But to begin, we visited the house built on the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, called House for an Art Lover.
Mackintosh was a Glasgow-born architect working in the movement of art nouveau, he is responsible for designing the Glasgow School of Art. However this building was sadly involved in a fire a few weeks before we could visit. Mackintosh was the designer whom we were both influenced by during our woodwork classes and both produced furniture based on his thinking and style.
House for an Art Lover was built after Mackintosh's death but was made using plans he made for a competition. It's a small space to walk around, and doesn't take a lot of your day to visit so can easily be done amongst other plans you have in Glasgow. It's a light and positive space to be in, no cluttered lines or confusing textures. Yet despite the simplicity, the space doesn't feel cold, as warm colours are used in the designs. From the patterns and textures that you do get, you can see how nature is an inspiration to Mackintosh. From the motifs of roses on the walls to the subtle soft curves that appear like petal shapes, to me, it is an uplifting place to be. It is also positive if you are more interested in looking rather than reading information in front of you, as text in the rooms is minimal and an audio headset is available if required.
From The House for an Art Lover, we headed into more central areas of Glasgow, visiting the Botanical Gardens before having one too many drinks and getting an uber back to our Airbnb.
Driving in Glasgow is pretty confusing, as there are motorways that run almost through the centre and using a satnav doesn't particularly help with direction as there are vertically so many layers of traffic - you're not quite sure which road to turn at. So on saying that, I would recommend public transport and then you also don't have the worry of parking.