I love Edinburgh, this my friends is quite an obvious fact. I grew up in West Lothian but spent many a weekend hanging out in the capital, mainly on Cockburn Street 'cause you know 'goth life'. I always felt a connection with the city and made the move when I was 18 and I've never looked back (well I did briefly move back home but it wasn't for long.)
Edinburgh is a truly wonderful city and I couldn't imagine living anywhere else but sometimes seeing the same sights every day can get a little, dare I say, boring.
As much as I would love to jet off on holiday by bank balance says "hahahahah no" but that doesn't mean I have to stay planted where I am especially when you can pop on a train and be transported to another equally fantastic Scottish city.
Edinburgh and Glasgow may be "rivals" but they have a lot more in common than you think. Both cities have an interesting history, breathtaking sights, amazing culture and quirky hidden gems. Plus getting to Glasgow from Edinburgh is so much easier than you may imagine. Trains are every 15 mins during the day with an off-peak ticket costing only £12.70.
To prepare for my journey the ScotRail organized an itinerary which was personalised to my tastes for my journey to the West of Scotland.
With my itinerary, maps (trust me, I needed them), portable chargers (yes I took three #iPhoneLife) and my best friend/arch nemesis by my side, I was ready for an exciting day out.
Our first stop of the day after arriving at Queen Street station was the famous Gallery of Modern Art, otherwise known as GOMA, to check out the Stephen Sutcliffe exhibiation (confession I may have kept getting his name confused with Peter Sutcliffe... Sorry Stephen).
Sutcliffe's solo exhibition can be found in Gallery 3 and this is his first time being featured at GOMA. The exhibition explores anxiety, self-doubt and the creative process using television, cinema, and radio edited together to make poetic works.
GOMA is a truly beautiful building and it's easy to get lost in the splendor of it all especially when you are near the top.
After breathing in one aspect of Glasgow culture, it was time to take on a whole other aspect of the city - the famous Barras Market! I've been to the Barras many a time and of course seen many a band play live at The Barrowlands but this time I was checking out BAaD - Barras Art and Design.
BAaD is a unique space which plays host to an award-winning restaurant, a bar and an event space which is used for an array of different markets. The most regular even at BAaD is the Vintage & Flea market.
This market is basically the stuff of dreams. I was lost in a world of gorgeous vintage clothes and unique one of kind homeware. The fact I managed to restrain myself from leaving with a ton of bags is quite frankly a miracle.
I managed to come away with an absolutely stunning floral 90s style tea dress which fitted me like a glove. At £15, I couldn't grumble at all. Lucie also managed to find herself the most perfect coat in the world and again it was ridiculously reasonably priced. Don't get me wrong I love Edinburgh vintage markets but BAad has set the bar high for me now!
We had an hour or so to kill before dinner, so it was off to Rose & Grants for a little cake and coffee time. Yes, we had cake before dinner and I damn proud of that fact. Rose & Grants are pretty famous of their vegan square sausage but alas we had arrived too late to try it for ourselves.
Instead, I settled on a slice of Pumpkin cake and a flat white. Let's just say it was the best cake I have ever ate and the worst coffee I have ever drunk - I think somehow sugar had got into my flat white which is all kinds of awful to me.
Finally, it was dinner time and with Lucie being vegan and me being a good pal who just enjoys food, we went to the famous vegan restaurant Mono.
Mono has been serving up delicious vegan food to the people of Glasgow since 2002 and has become a unique space where you can enjoy food, drink, and music all under one roof. People always say about how much of a community spirit Glasgow has and Mono completely represent that.
So did the food live up to the hype? We started off with a sharing platter which consisted of falafel, hummus, dolmades, pickled veg, olives, salad, and flatbread. Everyone on our platter was bloody beautiful though we did have one slight issue. Only three flatbreads on a sharing platter?! Not cool Mono.
When the mains arrived I was actually already so full from the delicious platter but I wasn't going to let that get in the way of my first ever try at Tofish & Chips (aka battered tofu). Flavour wise it was beyond perfect but it did take a while for me to get used to the texture of the tofu.
As much as we wanted dessert, our full stomachs were ready to explode and our day was not yet over. We had one final stop which features my all-time favourite thing ever, you guessed it, cocktails!
Being the gin lover that I am, it only made sense to head to Tabac to try their popular Elder Fizz cocktail. The lights were low, the bar was fairly quiet but not dead and the many gin bottles behind the bar had me doing love heart emoji eyes.
Alas with the lighting being as low as it was, getting a photo of our gorgeous cocktails proved to be difficult but trust me they were pretty and tasted just as good as they looked.
With a gin & prosecco buzz going through me, it was time to bid farewell to Glasgow and head on back to good old Waverly Train Station.
I've been to Glasgow so many times in the past but it's always been to go to something in paticular. This was the first time in a long time that I had spent a good full day wandering around and it certainly won't be my last.
Of course, my love for Edinburgh will always be strong but seeing the amazing variety of shops, restaurants and bars in Glasgow really blew me away. It's a city with character which has a totally different vibe from Edinburgh but still feels comforting. Also, the street art is just on a whole different level!
Thank you ScotRail for an amazing Great City Swap experience and I totally implore you all to take a chance away from the norm and visit that rival city, you'll be surprised by what you can find.
If you want to experience The Great City Swap for yourself, head over to the ScotRail website where you can find more information and a whole load of special offers and discounts - https://www.scotrail.co.uk/offers
Have you been city swapping recently?
Till the next time!