Yesterday I went to Glasgow!

Took the train, which was soooo comfy and quiet!

First I walked down to the east end to see the cathedral- not technically a cathedral as it is not the seat of a bishop but it is referrred to as Glasgow Cathedral just like St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. Actually before I got to the cathedral I encoutered a university bookstore so of course I had to pop in and have a look. Anyway, the cathedral/high kirk/whatever was pretty cool, very old and full of arches and sculptures and war memorials and Colours and mediaeval corpses.

Then I wandered in to the centre and paid a visit to the Gallery of Modern Art, which was, well, full of modern art. Um... oh, it was cool and everything but I can't really describe it without being super boring so I won't even bother. I will assure you that my attention span did hold out for the entire thing, so that is a good indication of how interesting it was I think.

Wandered around downtown, shopping district, lots of people with pots of money out spending it. Spent a bit of time orienting myself, trying to remember which streets ran which way and so on. (Oh I know, this is so fascinating and you are all on the edge of your seats with anticipation at what exciting things I did next! Well I am trying to write about what I have been doing so suck it up.) Oh, and it was raining by now, which frankly is what I expected out of a city like Glasgow.

Went on a guided tour of the City Chambers i.e. City Hall (the mayor is called the Lord Provost btw). Much splendour in that building, very Victorian and ornate. Our Glaswegian guide was pretty much incomprehensible; I understood about 30% of what he said overall. I did understand that he is very proud of all the Italian marble in the building, to which I say marble schmarble, check out all the tilework!

It is kind of funny that I hardly understood our tour guide, whose job it is to convey information to foreigners, many of whom do not speak English fluently. I had no trouble at all understanding everyone else I talked to in the city, that is to say, other locals.

When the tour ended it was pouring out, yeehaw! Luckily I had packed my mackintosh and so made great use of it for the rest of the day. Wandered northwestish over to the Glasgow School of Art, designed by the famous Charles Rennie Mackintosh (JFGI please), and spent probably two hours exploring its halls. Granted, it probably would not have taken so long if the year-end students' exhibition had not also been on. So I looked at the architecture (sooooo cool) and the art. Ooooh and their library, in which they had a book of verse illustrated by a certain Mr Caldecott after whom the American Library Association's Caldecott Award (for children's book illustration) is named! That was pretty exciting (for me).

OK so I spent like years there and finally left. Walked along Sauchiehall Street, looking for a particular pub which was supposed to be really good but I couldn't find it so broke down in hunger and bought a sandwich from the co-op. About three minutes after which I found the pub. Of course, I now had food with me so wasn't about to go in and be like d'you mind if I sit down and eat this here? So I headed back downtown and wandered around. Spent a good hour in Borders, four fabulous floors of books! Out of all that I managed to be very very good and only buy one book. Yay me!

Headed down to the River Clyde, admired the bridges, traversed some of them, walked along the river for a bit, back downtown, hopped on the subway, the world's third oldest after London and I forget which else, rode it all the way round. (It's basically one big loop with an inner circle heading anti-clockwise and an outer circle heading clockwise.) By then I was exhausted; it wasn't that late but my feet were killing me and it was starting to get dark and I understand Glasgow can be a bit dodgy sometimes at night and I was on my own so I hopped on the train back to Edinburgh at 5 to 10 and was back at the hostel at around 11.30.

I know there are a lot of things that I didn't get to do, museums and parks and so on, but I only did have one day and so I will just have to live. And maybe come back again someday...

The end!

11:13 a.m. - 2008-06-18


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