Exploring Glasgow for free, Scotland

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, and a great place to start a trip to Scotland. Despite overshadowed by the famous Edinburgh, this city is at least equally amazing. I need to say that in the end of my visit I was totally in love with this city, that once was a former industrial powerhouse, but now is a cultural hub, with lots of interesting things do do and see.

Glasgow is today a cosmopolitan city, with a rich history,  and a national cultural hub, home to many great museums (most of them free). The museums and art galleries have superb collections, that will surprise you as much as surprised me.

We landed at Glasgow’s airport and got the connection to the city center, using the bus 500, that takes 30 minutes to be on the Queen Street, close to George Square, in this short trip it’s already visible the historic sandstone buildings and modern architecture.

For my surprise Glasgow serves very weird food from deep-fried piza or even fried Mars, but the vegan options just kept surprising me. I need to say that the claims that Glasgow is the mecca in Scotland for vegan food lovers may be very true!

We visit the city by walking around, without taking any public transports (what was probably a mistake, at least is what my legs and feet were saying).

We started our trip, walking around the city centre without a plan towards George Square, that is the heart of the city, and has impressive Victorian buildings and statues paying homage to the Scottish greats. From there we went to the Gallery of Modern Art,  where is the famous statue of the Duke of Wellington wearing a traffic cone as a hat.

While walking around, we just did a stop at Glasgow Central Station, not to take a train but to have a look at the arquitecture and its glass roof. Here you can also join a tour that supposedly  reveals some of the station’s hidden secrets 🙂 I can’t say that’s true, because I haven’t done it.

From the train station it’s only a couple of minutes’ to the Lighthouse, on Buchanan St. This place can be a bit difficult to find but deserves the effort. The building was designed by the Scottish architect Charles Mackintosh back in the 19th century, and is an exemple of Art Nouveau. Today is the centre for Design and Architecture, and has many different exhibits and galleries.  Including a free exhibition on Mackintosh’s work. From the lighthouse, you have an incredible skyline view of Glasgow.

We kept walking till we got to the river side that has a path along the River Clyde great for a walk or even cycle, from where you can see modern buildings like the Clyde Auditorium (known as the Armadillo) and the titanium-clad Glasgow Science Centre.

Then was time to visit one of the city’s most famous museums, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. This museum is definitely a must see. But not before a lovely man invited us to take a coffee and some biscuits at a local church, the Sandyford Henderson memorial church.

The Kelvingrove is an immense place with a great a collection, that you will enjoy even if your are not an art person, because part is a art gallery and part history museum. Essentially, it’s an art, life science, and cultural museum rolled into one, with plenty to see, housed in a beautiful historic building.

From here across the park is the  University of Glasgow, an imposing gothic-style buildings that reminds vaguely Harry Potter.

The Glasgow Botanic Gardens are located in the heart of city’s West End by the River Kelvin, and are a short walk from the university, and a must go if you are a nature lover like me. The gardens are lovely and the glasshouses looked like they were straight out of the Victorian Era revealing exotic ferns and tropical plants as you go.

The Riverside Museum,with its Zaha Hadid-designed sinuous curves, is another must. The museum is dedicated to transport and travel. the exhibition is very interactive and even has a recreated street taking you back to 1890s Glasgow, where you can pop in into different shops. From here you can take a tour of the Glenlee, a restored tall ship, If you fancy something like that.

Once in the city center we went to visit the the 15th century house, Provand’s Lordship, the oldest in Glasgow and the magnificent Cathedral.

The  Necropolis, it’s right behind the Cathedral, and it’s a cemetery with distinctive, decorative tombstones which are works of art in themselves designed by major architects and sculptors of the time. The necropolis is located on top of a hill and has great views to the city and the Cathedral.

The People’s Palace and the Winter Gardens are a great museum to have an insight about Glasgow’s history, and t’s located in southeast Glasgow.

Glasgow’s street art is visible over the city, Smug One is an Australian born street artist based in Glasgow that has painted enormous murals.

If you are planning your trip bare in mind that the weather can be very unpredictable so just pack clothes for each of the 4 seasons 🙂 I suggest at least 3 days if you want to visit Glasgow properly but I recommend 4, for the sake of you legs and feet 🙂

If you have the time, away from the city there are plenty of remote places to explore.. be happy and have fun..

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Vegan-Friendly Places to Eat in Cambridge

2013-05-14 00.24.53.jpegIf you are vegan or vegetarian you know that sometimes can be difficult to find a place to eat, but you don’t need to worry, Cambridge has plenty of options. As a vegan living in Cambridge for almost 4 years, I will give you an insight of the best places to eat while you are visiting this extraordinary city.

Stem + Glory, Chesterton Road –  it’s a strict vegan place more suitable for breakfast, lunch or brunch.

Stir, Chesterton Road – Delicious coffees and cakes plus veggie brunches and lunches.

Rainbow Vegetarian Café, King’s Parade – this is a well-known multi-award winning veggie cafe and restaurant specializing in vegan and gluten-free food.

Arjuna Wholefoods, Mill Roadit’s a worker’s cooperative, and great to grab a snack or a vegan lunch.

Fudge KitchenKings Parade – they make artisan fudge and offer dairy-free fudge made with soy cream.

Curry King, Jordans Yard Bridge Street – it’s an Indian restaurant and almost all their menu can be served with vegetables instead of meat.

Espresso Library, East Road – This cafe has plenty of vegan options for breakfast and lunch.

Market HillMarket Square (10am-4pm) – this is the local market, not all vendors show up every day, so you never know exactly what you’ll find, but for sure you have a couple of options to choose from, like falafel, smoothies, breads, cakes, churros, noodles, cookies, muffins, flapjacks and, dumplings.

Giraffe, Christs Lane– has good vegan options for lunch or dinner. They have a special discount of 50% off all vegetarian main courses during National Vegetarian Week.

 

Other places that I like, Wagamamas, Prana Old Bicycle Shop, Millworks, The wrestlers, Urban Shed, Navadhanya and the Taj.

Always check if there is a vegan market or the  Cambridge Vegan Fair happening while you are visiting the city. It’s an immense sea of stalls, serving a bit of literary everything.

If you are with friends that are not vegan, all restaurants (one better than others) will have options for you, even the pubs. If you don’t want to waste time and money, you can always grab a packed meal at one of the many small street shops.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

🚌  Tips of what to visit in Cambridge 🚌

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Vegan Portugal, where to eat (guide)

Being a vegetarian/vegan in Portugal is not easy, specially if you are traveling relying mostly on restaurants and cafes.

The restaurants, have usually 4 main options in their menu (not very vegan friendly) : appetisers, fish, meat, and desserts. however in most places you will find a friendly Portuguese that will try to help you, and will create something with the things they have in the kitchen, you just need to explain correctly what you eat and don’t eat , otherwise you will almost for sure be served an omelet or a lettuce salad 🙂

Veganism and vegetarianism has been growing in the country since the last decade, and lots of new restaurants and cafes are popping in from north to south. To make your life easier I will leave a list of great places that you should try if visiting Portugal:

(V) includes: vegan + vegetarian + ovo-lacto-vegetarian options

💚 NORTH

Oporto

Espinho

Matosinhos 

  • Da Terra -Rua Afonso Cordeiro, 71 Matosinhos (V)
  • Pé de arroz – Rua do Godinho, 866  4450-029 Matosinhos (V)

Aveiro 

  • Musgo – Rua Tenente Rezende, galerias do Rossio B, 3800 Aveiro (V)
  • Ki Macrobiotico-  R. Cap. Sousa Pizarro 15, 3810-164 Aveiro (V+ macrobiotic)

Guimarães 

Castelo Branco 

  • Namaste – Rua de S. Jorge, 21-23 Castelo Branco (V)

Braga

💚CENTRE

Lisbon

  • Os Tibetanos- Rua do Salitre 117, 1250-198 Lisboa (V)
  •  PSI – Alameda Santo António dos Capuchos, 1150 Lisboa  (V )
  • Jardim doSentidos – R. da Mãe de Água 3, 1250-154 Lisboa (V)
  • 26 – Rua Vítor Cordon, 26, Chiado, Lisboa (V)
  • Vegana Burgers –  Saldanha Residence, Av. Fontes Pereira de Melo 42, 1050-010 Lisboa (Vegan)
  • FOODPRINTZ – R. Rodrigo da Fonseca 82B, 1250-038 Lisboa (Vegan)
  • Terra Rua da Palmeira, 15, Príncipe Real, Lisboa (V)
  • Jardim das cerejas – Calçada Sacramento 36, 1200 Lisboa (V)
  • Oasis – R. Marquês Sá da Bandeira 76, 1050-099 Lisboa (V)
  • Tao – 1100 026, R. dos Douradores 10, Lisboa (V)
  •  Miss Saigon – Rua Cais das Naus, Lt. 4.01.01, Parque das Nações, Loja i, 1990-305 Lisboa (V)
  •  Bio – R. Francisco Sanches 39, 1170-140 Lisboa, (V)
  • Espaço da Rosa – R. Acácio de Paiva 11A, 1700-503 Lisboa (V)
  • Espiral – Praça Ilha do Faial 14 A, 1000-168 Lisboa (V)
  • The Food temple – Beco do Jasmim 18, Mouraria, Lisboa (V)
  • Princesa do Castelo – Rua do Salvador 64 A, lisboa (V)
  • Pachamama – Boqueirão Douro n.46, 1200-163 Lisboa (with V options)
  • Água no bico – R. Gaivotas 8, 1200-066 Lisboa (V)
  • Veganeats–  Rua Cavaleiro de Oliveira, nº42 Lisboa (Vegan)
  • Paladar Zen – Av. Barbosa du Bocage, 107 C 1050-031 Lisboa (V)
  • Tamarind – Rua da Glória 43, 1250-115 Lisboa (with V options – indian)
  • Cantina do templo Hindu – Alameda Mahatma Gandhi 1600-500 Paço do Lumiar, Lisboa (V)

Sintra

  • Espaço Edla –  R. Dr. Alfredo da Costa 52, 2710-523 Sintra (with V options)
  • Tinkly – Estr. do Rodízio 2, 2705-335 Colares (V)

Sesimbra 

  • Aloha Café – Rua Gil Vicente nº 30B, Cotovia, Sesimbra  (with V options)
  • XL da Carlota –  Rua Basilio Teles, nº 196, R/C – Quinta do Conde Sesimbra (V)

Coimbra

  • Cozinha consciente – Rua de Olivença, Galerias Topázio nº 9, 2º andar loja 35, 3000-306 Coimbra (V)
  • GreenSide – Celas, R. Parreiras 31, 3030 Coimbra (V)
  • CAFÉ SHANTY – venida Sá da Bandeira 33/35 2º andar loja 230 Galerias Avenida, 3004-544 Coimbra (with V options)

Cascais 

Oeiras 

  • Convicts –   Rua Desembargador Faria, n.º 31 Oeiras (V)

Almada 

  • Veg-e-tal – Av. D. Afonso Henriques 8A 2800-009 Almada (V)

💚SOUTH

Évora 

  • Jardin do chá – Largo Mario Chico, 17, 7000 Évora.(with V options)
  • Salsa verde – Rua do Raimundo, 93 – A – Évora (V)
  • art cafe  – R. de Serpa Pinto 6, 7000-505 Évora (with V options)

Beja

Faro

Albufeira

Alvor

  • Azul Algarve – Rua do Rossio Grande Lt E/F Loja C Alvor, Faro, Portugal (V)

Portimão

  • Vegetarianus – R. da Quinta do Bpo. 17, 8500 Portimão (V)
  • Armazém integral – Rua das comunicações lj B, Ed. Casas do Rio (V) shop+caffe   
  • Mercearia Bio – Rua das Comunicações, Edifício Casa do Rio Loja C 8500-657 Portimão (Vshop+caffe   

💚Islands:

Madeira

Azores 

  • Casa do Jardim – Rua do Marques, 110, Angra do Heroísmo, azores (V)

Notes:

*Most Portuguese soups are vegan and you can find them everywhere for about 1.50€ – 3.00€. They’re really delicious and always cooked freshly from scratch.

*The bread is great, make sure you try a good Broa de milho (Corn bread), or Pão Alentejano (a bread originally from the region of Alentejo)

* If you are visiting Portugal during fall or winter time you’ll find street vendors  selling castanhas assadas (baked Chestnuts)

*While in the country, try a good olive oil, and olives.

*Don’t miss the opportunity to drink some Porto Wine, red and white wine, medronho (kind of fruit brandy, distilled from wild strawberry ), Ginja (sour cherry liqueur)

*seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables are great, find them in the open markets. All Portuguese towns have markets offering a daily show of fresh locally farmed fruit and vegetables.

*drink a Café (coffee)

Have fun, enjoy the country and the food!

🌱Let me know if is there any other place that you recommend 😀

💛🌿Get inspired by the photos

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha