I was very fortunate to spend several days in Glasgow, Scotland a few weeks ago. While it was very cold, I managed to find a good amount of things to do that cost me nothing. When traveling, I do believe that you can save money. Luckily in Scotland, many of the historical sites are free to the public. I spent my three days there touring the city this way. So without further ado, here are 7 free things to see in Glasgow, Scotland.
7. The Glasgow Necropolis
The Glasgow Necropolis sits up on a hill just above the Glasgow Cathedral. From here, you get some of the best views of the entire city. What’s a Necropolis? It’s a Victorian-era garden cemetery. I don’t know about you, but for me, there’s always something neat and calming about wandering through a cemetery.
Castle St, Glasgow G4 0UZ
Open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk.
6. Glasgow Cathedral
This place is simply amazing. It is my favorite cathedral that I have ever visited. I love the old gothic architecture and I could simply spend hours inside looking at every little thing. Here is their website.
This is a great place to start if it’s your first day in Glasgow and you’re just getting a lay of the land, history and culture of the city. This old, historic building is basically a museum of all things Glasgow. It takes you through the history of the city and gives you a look into the culture. Apparently Glasgow used to be ridiculously over crowded. There’s also a nice cafe that’s not super expensive and a nice surrounding park. Here is their website.
Glasgow Green, Glasgow G40 1AT
Closed Monday; Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, 10-5; Friday and Sunday 11-5
4. Gallery of Modern Art
This is very easy place to visit because it’s right in the center of Glasgow. Some of these other sites mentioned required either 15 minute walk or a subway ride. This is perfect if you’re already just browsing around. It happened to be open on a Thursday night and so we stopped in for a bit. Here is their website.
Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1 3AH
Monday-Wednesday and Saturday, 10-5; Thursday 10-8; Friday and Sunday 11-5
3. Hunterian Museum
This museum is a part of the University of Glasgow. While it’s not necessarily huge, it’s got some neat things to check out. It is also Scotland’s oldest public museum. They have quite an impressive collection of Roman artifacts. Here is their website.
University of Glasgow, University Ave, Glasgow G12 8QQ
Dude this is quite the museum if you’re a museum person. First, the building is just absolutely beautiful. Second, there’s quite a variety of things to do. There are things for kids and adults. There are things about history, Glasgow, science, art, etc. You could easily spend hours in this musuem (and I did, of course). Here is their website.
Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG
Monday-Thursday and Saturday 10-5; Friday and Sunday 11-5
1. University of Glasgow
Did you know that parts of Harry Potter were actually filmed here? I’m sure you HP fans will recognise some of these shots. But yeah … like most college campuses, it’s completely free to just walk around and admire the architecture. And I totally recommend that you do that. Here is their website.
Glasgow G12 8QQ
Not really sure there are particular hours for just viewing the campus as it is a university. Obviously it’s best when it’s daytime.
I found all of these wonderful free places from People Make Glasgow. The hostel I stayed at had some of their maps sitting on the desk and I took one. It was very informative!
How do you find free things to do when you travel?
Hi friends! After about 12 days of traveling, I am back in Spain. I have so much to share with you all that this month will just be full of tales of my travels to Scotland, Andorra, France and Spain (Barcelona). So I thought I’d start off with my day in Loch Lomond.
What is Loch Lomond?
Well I’m so glad you asked! Loch Lomond is this beautiful body of water just outside of Glasgow, Scotland. If you’re spending a few days in Glasgow like I was, it’s an easy drive or train ride to spend a day in Loch Lomond. In America, we really don’t have lochs or we at least just don’t call bodies of water lochs. So the word seems very Scottish to me (especially since they have to whole Lochness Monster deal).
Earlier last week, I had recapped my year in dresses. As many of you already know, I wear a lot of dresses. In fact, that’s what inspired the name of my blog. I think that as we end one year and begin another, it’s good to do a little reflecting. Even if we think our year was not the best, we usually have made progress. Reflecting can help us see that. I know I for one made lots of leaps with the blog.
Reflecting also allows us to see where we are and where we want to go. I know that for me, this is the year that I give the blog my all. I’m going full force with it. So to those of you who are new, welcome! I hope you stick around because I have lots of great ideas for the year to come. And those loyal readers out there, thank you for all your support. You all are amazing.
And now, the dresses.
Oh the pineapple dress! I remember seeing this on Zulily and thinking how unique it was! So, I decided to buy it. It really has turned out to be quite the comfy dress as well. I shot those photos with a new photographer in this beautiful park in Cincinnati. It was such a perfect day for a shoot!
And then this black dress was my farewell to winter dress. I so miss summer. I’m currently in Edinburgh, Scotland until tomorrow and it is so cold! I love Scotland but miss the warmth.
August was such a stinking fun month! I ended my job at Su Casa and ran off to Portland, Oregon with one of my best friends. We had such a blast in that city. The weather was perfect the entire time and we ate amazing food. So these three are all from our lovely Portland trip.
September was a busy month for me. On September 22nd, I left the United States for Spain. So I can’t entirely remember but I don’t think either of these outfits were actually shot in September. However both blog posts ran in September.
October for me was a month of feeling settled. It was my first official month living in Spain. I was still getting used to the schedule and Granada. I did a little traveling here and there.
I think the biggest thing was attempting to find that balance between blogging and my new job. Basically, I teach 12 hours a week in the classroom and another 12 hours of private classes. When you add in commute time, it ends up closer to 30-34 hours/week. It does, however, give me my days free on Mondays and Tuesdays.
I’ll admit that it took me longer than anticipated to really settle into a blogging groove. On the airplane over here to Scotland, I made a weekly schedule for blogging that allows me to go to bed early Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. Basically, I try to be nice to myself while also being realistic about what needs to get done each week. I know if I stick to that schedule, my blog will continue to grow.
So these three images are a reflection of settling in. The first two were shot by a wonderful photographer named Jana in Granada and the third was shot in the city of Jaen by my friend Shola.
November was lots of fun. I learned that I can still travel and explore on a budget. So instead of jetting off to far off places, I saw some new things in Southern Spain. I saw the castle in Jaen and toured an olive oil mill with some friends. It was amazing of course.
Oh hello, yesterday! December was a good month as well. I did a lovely day trip to Cordoba with my friend Jasmyne. That is what this shot is from. It’s crazy to think of how warm it was then.
Well that was my year. I moved to Spain and have already learned a lot about myself. How did you end 2016?
I met Kate through the Internet, much like how I met most of my blogger friends. She, like me, is teaching English here in Spain through Auxiliaries de Conversacion. She, however, lives in the North of Spain in La Rioja. What is funny is that I actually know La Rioja. My former Spanish tutor Daniel over at Coffeeshop Spanish taught English in La Rioja as well. So when I first came to Spain on the immersion trip he organized, Logroño, La Rioja was a stop on the journey.
Kate has a lovely blog and so I thought I would ask her to give her perspective on the expat life.
I’m Kate! Blog enthusiast, country counter, dog lover, and struggling Spanish speaker. I’m 24 years old, one of three, and have lived in Centreville, Virginia most of my life- that is until now. I graduated from college just over two years ago and started a desk job in Fairfax directly after graduation. It’s strange the things that change in your life as you work away eight hours a day, and suddenly it occurred to me that I no longer wanted to do exactly what was expected of me.
It was like a light went on, and everything I had ever wanted to do suddenly came flooding back. I wanted to travel, learn a different language, meet new people, and do something daring and different. I didn’t want to pay my endless list of bills, or spend that exuberant amount on rent along with the rest of my 22-year-old friends. I also was enthralled with this idea of having an opportunity to work on my writing. A creative writing major, my real passion is writing books, and working eight hours a day was leaving little time to actually pursue that dream.
It’s strange to think that just under a year ago, I was scrambling to finish the application to this program to get it in on time. Not only was it something I had just recently discovered in my latest Google-escapade, but I also had no idea what I would do if I didn’t get in, let alone what would happen if I did.
I didn’t consciously decide to do away with the life I had worked so hard to build for 2 years until I received the acceptance email, and suddenly it seemed less I had a choice and more like I just had to leap. And that leap has been both the greatest and hardest adventure yet.
I started a blog to detail and keep track of the insanity of my decision. TheMakingofKate.com was born both from my passion for writing but also as a way to share hilarious moments, daily frustrations, and of course, the revelations of this silly little thing called life.
5 and 5
Things I Love
1, The Cheapness of Spain
Not that the money thing matters- but the comparison of living life in Northern Virginia to living life in Spain is almost, almost laughable when it comes to the money thing. I love how inexpensive it is to live in La Rioja.
Rent is laughably cheap. The wine delicious and easier to consume when paying a euro for a cup. Grocery shopping isn’t half as painful because I can feed myself on twenty euro a week (including three bottles of wine.) Three-course-meal with wine- 20 euro. Drink at a club- 5.
For perspective, I was paying $850 in rent, grocery shopping for a week was closer to thirty or forty. A bottle of good wine would set you back about $7 or $8 dollars. Going out for a three-course-meal with drinks-$40. Buying a drink at a club- $10. I think moving back to the states will be a shock to my wallet.
2. The ease of travel
I say that with a little cringe because traveling from Calahorra, La Rioja can actually be a pain. But I have made it a point to do as much traveling as possible, and that beautiful thing about it is that at the end of the day it’s possible.
I’ve traveled to different towns in Spain, Ireland, Brussels, Switzerland, and back to the states thus far and have plans to travel to Italy, Germany, Scotland, Czech Republic, Greece, Croatia, and Hungary before the year is finished. Europe is an amazing place to live because everything is so close together and Ryan Air is officially my new most hated best friend.
3. Walking Everywhere
Even though I live in a small city, it’s still that, a city. I walk everywhere, and even though sometimes it can be frustrating, there is something simple and rewarding in using your feet to get you from place to place, as well as working on staying skinny while partaking in the glory that is Spanish bread and wine.
4. Doing Something Different
I never studied to be a teacher. I actually was often asked if that is what I would end up doing with my degree and consistently declared myself against such a path. And so I am shocked to find myself doing just that now. But it’s been a crazy enlightening experience thus far. I’ve had moments of shock, laughter, frustration, and a great story or two during my time. I’ve also learned how to do something new, and to me that’s priceless.
5. The Wine and Free Time
I live in a small region without much to it. La Rioja is mostly agricultural and I appreciate the things it gets me. Fresh food and wine. The wine here is amazing and cheap and easy to consume by the bottle without suffering your typical hangover. Add that we only work twelve hours a week, and there is little left to complain about.
But alas, there are frustrations, too.
Unfortunately, my salary is just as laughable as the cheapness of Spain, and I’ve had to carefully live by a budget like I never have before. This can be really frustrating, especially when you are traveling and find something amazing in a shop, or when you miss your train and have to buy a new ticket. Having a limited amount of money is stressful.
2. Not Having a Car
While I love walking everywhere, I also can’t stand having to rely on public transport to get to my schools ever day. Or if I want to visit a town nearby. Or make my way from the big city back to my small town after a long day of travel. It can be a killer.
3. The Language Barrier
I’ve been trying my best to learn the language, but sometimes it’s just a no-go, and the resulting frustrations can be more towards tears than laughter. Learning another language from the bottom up is stressful.
4. Being away from friends and family
My first week I was brutally aware that I knew no one. Not a single soul. I had spent the first 24 years of my life growing friendships and having the love and support of family close by. This was a shock to my system, but one that was thankfully quickly remedied. I can’t believe how close I’ve become to so many people in such a short amount of time.
5. Small town options and siesta
I’m used to having a large array of options at my call and beckon. Northern Virginia is a cultural hub of food and shops- diverse and many, if I wanted Indian I had six or seven choices of restaurants within my driving range. Here, there is no such thing. It’s been hard adjusting to what is available and not craving certain foods that aren’t around. In addition to this frustrating limitation is the shop hours. It’s gotten slightly normal to where I laugh instead of grumble, but having to abide by whatever strange hours the owner of said shop wants to have is hard. Last Sunday I came down with a wicked cold and despite my best efforts could not find a single shop open with the medicine I needed. Same goes for picking up groceries or shopping.
In the end though, I wouldn’t go back on my decision. I have met such interesting people, had altering experiences, and grown in a way that I never would have dreamed if I had never left my original path behind.
This week and next, I’m off traveling through Europe. So I thought I would ask some of my blogger friends who are also Americans living abroad to guest post for me. Kristin is the first of three. Enjoy!
My name is Kristin Kohler and I am the blogger behind Countdown to Friday. I am so excited that Nina invited me to participate in the blogger series about expat life! It has been one of my dreams to live abroad, and while it isn’t perfect, it’s been an amazing experience so far.
I moved to Germany last summer because my husband got stationed here with the military. Lucky me! I was able to get a full time job, so I spend week days working in an office. In my free time I love fashion, spending time with my pup, Rascal, and Netflix marathons.
It has been quite a year in dresses for me. As I think back to last year at this time, so much was different. My mother was about to go into hospice after a six-month stay in the hospital after having a brain aneurysm. I was nearing the end of Dressember, a month-long campaign to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking. While I was 3-months in, I was such a baby blogger.
Now one year later, I think it’s fitting that this post includes a giveaway. In this year since, I’ve seen a growth in traffic and engagement on both the blog and my social media platforms. I’ve worked with some brands and small businesses, and continue to have people reaching out for collaboration. I feel like I’m in my solid sophomore year of blogging and there is nowhere to go but up. And it could not have been possible without you all. So thank you for reading, liking and commenting. It always brings me joy!
Ah the holidays. There’s so much joy and cheer. There are also many, many, many things to do and events to attend. Between your office party and friend party and family get together, not to mention New Year’s Eve, it can get overwhelming. What do I wear? Well we are here to help! Here is your holiday dress by color.
Your holiday little black dress
We all have our color. Mine is green and in fact, I wrote all about it last Spring. You can read that post here. That color that just looks amazing on us … it fits with our eyes and our skin tone.
Today, though, I’ve decided to show you some of my favorites in lack. Who doesn’t love a good little black dress?
Also every good holiday dress needs the right bra. I know for me, it can make or break my whole evening. Luckily I’ve teamed up with Thirdlove, a company prides themselves on good-fitting bras and underwear. They have this super fun quiz here. What bra should you wear this holiday? Spoiler: I got the 24/7 t-shirt scrappy bra because I’m a slight grinch. They are so kindly offering all my readers a 15% off discount code. Make sure to use this code: TL15BRABLEMSDEC when making your purchase!
And now onto the dresses
Your holiday black dress
The little black dress is the easiest go-to. If you’re a girl who just likes to go with what you know will look amazing, a little black dress is perfect. You cannot go wrong with it.
Today we have a guest blogger while I explore Madrid. Meet Alex, a lovely blogger I met through one of the style blog linkups I participate in each week. She’s fabulous and I hope you enjoy!
Hi! My name is Alex and I write over at Medicated Follower of Fashion. I’m 34, married with two lovely boys and live in the UK. I suppose I really ought to explain my blog name. I started blogging in 2009 after the birth of my eldest son. Very shortly after having my son I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression and I found blogging a great outlet for me. Something that gave me a great deal of joy and helped me feel more, well, “me” after having a child was clothing, fashion, style and kids clothing too. I’ve always loved dressing myself (sometimes in weird and wacky ways!) and one of the best things, for me, at that very low point, was having someone new to dress. Someone who for quite a long time couldn’t express an opinion!
There’s no doubt that many things are different between the US and Europe. In addition to different languages (except for a few countries of course), different food and different customs, the spaces are quite different. Things are just bigger in the US. In Europe the buildings are older and there’s just less space in general. Plus I’ve noticed that people in Spain like to live near each other more. You see that everyone not only lives right in the cities, but also they choose to live in the center of towns and villages too. That, however, is a topic for another blog post.
I recently came across a company called MakeSpace and it prompted me to think about about my dream closet. After all, I really do love my closet space that I lucked into here in Spain. Is it my dream space? No. But we will get into that later. Also for those who are not aware, MakeSpace is a self-storage service that moves your unwanted stuff and stores it for you. They have several self-storage locations throughout the United States.
Last weekend around this time, I found myself in Cordoba, Spain. I had decided to take a day trip with a friend. Winter is setting in here in Spain, so I had to dress accordingly. Did I wear a dress? Of course! I did choose carefully, though. So I thought I would share my 5 tips for winter travel wear.
My 5 tips for winter travel wear
Many of us find ourselves traveling during the winter months. Perhaps you decided to take your two weeks off around the holidays in the Czech Republic. Or perhaps you have some time in February and decide to make your dream of visiting Paris a reality. Or perhaps, like me, you’re an expat who plans to travel through Europe little by little on long weekends and days off from your job. Either way, we do find ourselves as tourists in the cold. And as long as you are prepared, it can be just as much fun as traveling in the warmer months.