Weekend in Glasgow: Part 1

At a charity raffle for work, I was surprised when I realised I won the grand prize: a night’s stay with breakfast at The Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow! It’s been rated as a four-star hotel, but the Victorian architecture of the building nicely complements the beautiful modern, ornate decor that demurely beckons you to have a seat in their plush seats and brings you back to a time of luxury and elegance.

It’s a wonder how much detail you can take in each time you visit a place, even if you’ve been before. It seems, like when you watch a film, that every time you see it again you notice something else that catches your eye. We were only there for 2 days, but I thought to explain our trip a bit better, I’m going to split it up into 4 parts.

On the day we were to leave for Glasgow, the weather was beautiful in Edinburgh the day we dropped the kitties off with the OH’s parents. The sun was shining and I was excited to be using my Hello Kitty sunnies for the first time since I got them.

The sun shining on my Hello Kitty sunnies!

It wasn’t as warm by the time we reached the West, but it was definitely a sight to behold with the heavy snow. I was probably more excited than a little kid to see the streets and sky covered in fluffy white flakes! I still managed to get some pretty amazing shots though wandering around the city.

Glasgow Queen Street Station

Queen Street

Argyll Street

Glasgow City Chambers

Buchanan Street during the day

Buchanan Street at night

The hotel was nice and warm, very welcoming for bone weary travellers and those frozen from the cold temperatures.

View from The Tempus Restaurant

The Grand Central Hotel can be found at 99 Gordon Street, Glasgow, G1 3SF at the corner of Glasgow Central Station. To book a room, call 0141 240 3700 or book online.

We decided to do some touristy sightseeing while we were there to make good use of our time instead of spending most of it at the hotel in between meals. Before we left, I came across a unique theatre exhibit that aroused my interest. Located at 103 Trongate, a hub of artistic creativity in different forms, Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre is one of those ‘must see to believe’ wonders of Glasgow.

Ceramics display on the first floor of 103 Trongate

The theatre is set with hundreds of carved figures and pieces of old scrap. The sculptures displayed around the exhibit perform an incredible choreography to haunting music and synchronised light, telling the funny and tragic stories of the human spirit as it struggles against the relentless circles of life and death. We were able to catch the short 45-minute afternoon show (full length shows in the evenings are an hour and 10 minutes long on certain days) which really captures your attention.

Old classical songs and tunes are played while the animals on each sculpture of mismatched parts of cogs, animal skulls, sewing machines and bicycle chains weave their magic on their audience. When the sculptures are still, your eyes are immediately drawn to the complexity of the sculpture and how the artist, Eduard Bersudsky, came by his ideas. Together with theatre director Tatyana Jakovskaya, and light and sound designer Sergey Jakovsky, the sculptures come to life and animals slog through the motions of turning cogs to entertain the watchful eyes of the audience.

Self-portrait with Monkey (2002)

Time of Rats (1991)

Willy-the-Belfry (1994/2011)

Master and Margarita (2002)

Part of the kinemats that are only turned on for the evening shows due to their age

Bear’s Tower (2012)

The Tree of Life (2005)

The Flying Bull (2012)

Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre is on the first floor of 103 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HD. Afternoon shows are on between Wednesday and Sunday at 3pm and last 45 minutes, tickets cost £5 (£4 concessions). Full shows are only on Thursday and Sunday evenings at 7pm and last 1 hour and 10 minutes, tickets cost £8 (£6 concession). The exhibits can also be visited for free between 1pm and 3pm before the afternoon show.

Booking is strongly advised by e-mail or phoning 0141 552 7080 (telephone enquiries 1pm-3pm Wednesday-Sunday only).


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