The final part of my walk in Thornwood, extreme west of the West End, had us going into a pop-up art gallery, where the partner decided to purchase a mini- water colour of the Glasgow Underground.
Four Visions pop-up Art Gallery, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow
I don’t know how long this has been here, thought I’ve thought that I’ve seen it before.
Very small inside, very homely and no hint of pretence – thank God.
Various shots of the Pop-Up
Also to note, we were not the only ones there, here’s hoping they stay for some time. Some might call it populist, but surely that it exactly what some art deserves, particularly for the struggling artist.
What a surprise for us here, as we were looking for the always reliable Tulipane; no longer to be seen?
So wondered in here, and found it to be French? Maybe I am wrong, but after we finished, had a delightful conversation on Steve McQueen, and in particular Papillon (co-starred with Dustin Hoffman) – not the absolutely dreadful remake in 2017, with Charlie Hunnam! Maybe I will read the original novel, as suggested.
The eggs and avo were the hit
Have to say, everything was made from scratch, enough time to settle down and actually chat, and would be back.
Every now and then, I get lucky, and several years ago I did. We received some tickets to the Men’s Final at Wimbledon, and then were, very kindly, allowed to defer them until this year (Hello Covid, etc).
I’ll show more later this week, but will always remember seeing Nick Kyrgios in his first major final.
I’ve been here before, and after a recent BBQ at my bit, someone had the nerve to say that it is just so old-fashioned and out of date?
Really? They’ve overhauled this place some time ago, and now it not only is modern, but fits its place that it is trying to do. Our very own Ritz, if I may add!
We were there for tea and cake, but the design, service and accoutrements were brilliant – linen serviettes. The view was perfect for not only people watching, but also to see the piano players, hitting the plastic ivory.
Various internal shots of the Cafe
Even the food was class, with a pink cheesecake chosen for me.
It seemed to me, that this is primarily known and used as a bar / champagne bar (its title), but whoa to be had, with just a little walking around the city centre.
They even had a collection of photos from previous stayers at the accommodation in its heyday; ranging from Roy Rogers to Gene Kelly; though I did not see the photo of Diego Maradona, from I believe 1979.
When there, went west! Not to the hills and the hoard of tourists, or so I thought! They were everywhere! The place was crammed with every nationality known.
I managed to go to the go to place, facing the ocean and the huge square there.
There were quite a view people already there, concerning the early morning when I arrived. If you ever come here, go further west, and there are many more opportunities to grab an old street car, but more on this in a few days.
Here I noticed even a beer museum! Why not, but it was not open yet, and I had little time.
Beer Museum, Arco da Rua Augusta
From here, I walked along these streets to the west side, and came across a multitude of pubs, cafes, sights and restaurants.
And saw one of the better tourist “things” to do ever, a mini car, that can be hired for two intrepid adventurers.
Once again, or at least for the first time since 2019, the Mela was on, that celebrates south Asian culture here in Scotland, and it was packed!
Fabric / Clothes shops at the Mela
We were only there for about 90 minutes, but as usual, there was a good vibe and multiple music tents – I believe there was even a ceilidh going on, as well as live music. I happened to see an experimental jazz, Asian fusion brigade. The leader, even said hello to his Ma and Da there!
There were even charities and self-help groups, complete in their stalls, handing out information and soliciting donations. One, the Vision Again Foundation, looked at the vital need for eye operations in the 3rd World, that can be done for as little as £20 in order to restore sight; I’ve already donated.
More shots of the Mela
Well worth a visit again, in the oncoming year.
As I left, there were more stalls, and even a “wall”, where one could write opinions on a variety of current affairs.
After settling into my hotel, and having a overnight sleep, tried out the breakfast; but in this case, there was none? Hence, decided to go around the corner to buy some croissants, etc.
I found a metro market called Auchan – which is actually a French based shop, and noticed one or two peculiar but helpful things.
Order / Collect – Interesting Idea
One was the ability to order and then collect your food in an area at the very front of the entrance. I know there are shops here who do this, but maybe not to this detail; completely in English also!
The other was some bizarre (apologies for the black & white photo) chart on the wall at the entrance, describing something? Ah, the French strike again.
After this and some work, did a wander downtown, mainly to meet up with family in the Alfama region, of the city centre.
If you haven’t been here before, it’s a maze of hills, restaurants, yellow trams and tourists! OTOH, it is brilliant! Just go for a wander here, you CAN NOT go wrong.
Here, I walked by the coast and then by several places (Maritime Museum and a Taylors Port tasting room), that I will save for another day. BTW, the weather was awful, I seriously thought it was going to snow!
After this, I had a simply wonderful meal at one of the hundreds of places to choose from.
Restaurant in Alfama
Afterwards, used the metro to return to my hotel, and loved some of the wallpaper.
The great (now dead) Graham Greene once said about some of this books, that they were “entertainments” – there only for pleasure, entertaining and not to be looked at as great works of art.
One of these, Our Man in Havana, was actually superb, and described the early communist government in Cuba, worth a read!
So when I was out the other night, and attempted to find a restaurant, I happened to wander by The Hyndland Fox (again!), and noted that they had a wine night with tastings on – who could resist.
Whilst there at the entrance, we were greeted by staff, who after informing us of the night, then ushered us to our unreserved seats, exactly when the talks (between the courses) started.
A Frenchman was there to talk about this new “brand” or company from France known as Rift, with the idea of producing completely sulphur-free wine.
The tasting consisted of 4 courses, with an accompanying wine for each course, that consisted of:
Duck & Potatoes
Cheese & Homemade Biscuits
Sorbet & Pate
With the highlight, being both the first and final courses. I’ve never tasted sorbet so rich, with the accompanying “pate” being unbelievable, like a candied caramel.
Interesting that I have been here before several times and it always strikes me as if they are trying to do something different; they’ve a comedy club here as well. So I was glad I walked about to find this place. I only wish that I had known about this night before; perhaps they have an email list that I could join?
But yet again, it’s another (IMO) world class foodie thing, right here in Glasgow, with the food and service exceptional, and naturally quite friendly.
The next day, after a sound breakfast, which was interesting as the hotel was just opening up from lock-down, I caught the train to Lisbon, via first class (which was quite reasonable – only about £45 for a return).
After a short walk through Faro to the station, I noted that it seemed quiet, but that there appears to be some renovating and modernising going on about here.
After this, I arrived at the station, where I was very pleasantly surprised by the state and style of the train.
First Class section of Portuguese trains
The station was clean and though at first, I thought I would be the only one there, it filled up quite quickly, with many tourists from North America.
With my carriage having one of those “old fashioned” type of doors, which I personally, find reassuring.
We got in to Lisbon Oriente, with it’s stunning ceiling, that looks better at night, if truth be told.
Lisbon station Roof
After disembarking from the train, and leaving the station, I decided to go for a long walk (about 2 hours) along the east side of the city, that included the Marvila section, to arrive at my hotel (via the underground).
The first part was severely modern, though like most major cities nowadays, has rental bikes.
Marvila area and bikes
The next part, appeared to be under renewal, and can only be a positive thing for the city.
Finally, after I reached a point just north of the Alfama Old Town section, I got on the very modern underground, to go to my hotel that was only a few stops north.
After I arrived at my room, a very utilitarian one at that, I was starving, so I
went around the corner, and was pleasantly surprised to find a curry house! I must say, it was lovely and had food that was served slightly differently than the places I’ve been to in the UK.