Glasgow is a much bigger, more urban city than Edinburgh. My first impression passing through quickly and in the central area was that it was less attractive than Edinburgh. Now, back for two days, and staying in the West End, near the university, I can already tell it has more to offer than I thought at first glance.
There appears to be a tradition in Scotland of having free admission to most museums. I’m writing this on my first morning in Glasgow, before the museums open at 10. It’s clear that what I see today will be only limited by my stamina, and I can tell I’ll wish I had scheduled more time here. A friend says there is a great train museum here. So many good things to see, so little time…I think I’ll head over to the Botanic Garden first, as they are already open.
Mysterious old towers! I like this kind of stuff. This the clock tower of Hunter Hall, the main quadrangle of the University of Glasgow.
Time to catch up on redheads. Or, as some call them, gingers. In Fort William, at my favorite cafe, I met Andrew, who was home visiting the town of his birth. He is currently living in Bangkok. His longish hair is neatly knotted in back. He has blue eyes, and cannot tan at all–one side effect of having the full red hair genes. So he must be very careful to not get too much sun exposure.
On the train from Fort William to Glasgow, my seatmate was Noemi (a variation of the biblical name Naomi?) from Switzerland. Noemi is a student of biology, not yet sure of specialty, with green eyes. She is touring Scotland while on summer break.
I hope you like faces as much as I do. I will be collecting them around the world as I travel. There is now a gallery of them under the ‘Links’ tab.
AirBnB has been very helpful. I am renting apartments all over the world easily with their help. I am not a fan of hotel rooms. Judy and I preferred to rent one bedroom apartments, so I could go into the living room and work when I woke up early, and let her sleep.
In Glasgow, I found this lovely studio. I believe it is the parlor of a fine old home that has been divided up into apartments. The beautiful wood floor must be new, but the moulding looks original. A very pleasant space, and in a great location near the university in the West End. The River Clyde runs through the middle of Glasgow, and the Botanic garden is bordered by the River Kelvin. What student of science can resist that?
I picked up a bike at Glasgow Central Station (3.80 GBP per 24 hours) so I can pedal all over Glasgow. I’m really glad this program (available at most big train stations in the U.K.) is available. I strapped my trekking pack sideways on the front carrier, and pedaled the 2 miles over to my apartment. The art on the wall are glass items made by the artist/owner of the apartment.
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum nearby. Did I mention free? You can make a donation, and I have been doing so.
This place is BIG:
One measure of big: can you suspend a full size airplane inside?
John Lavery’s painting of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.
I like universities, so I pedaled over to the University of Glasgow, founded 1451. This campus was built later, however, when the University outgrew its original location and was moved.
One of the older departments, but an important one.
There is a very nice Transportation Museum that has lots of antique classic cars, trams, locomotives, and such. On the way over, I rode on ‘National Bike Route 7’. Gotta like a country that has National Bike Routes.
A peek inside the boiler when the front cover is unmatched.
The Botanic Garden is quite nice. It was raining steadily while I was there, but I managed a few good pictures:
One very unusual tree deserves mention, the Monkey Puzzle tree from the Andes mountains of South America. Five seedlings for this tree were brought by Scottish botanist Archibald Menzies in 1795.
I biked along an old canal stretching from the River Clyde to the village of
Bowling with quite a history. The Kelvin Docks up here in Glasgow made landing craft used in the invasion of France called ‘D-Day’ in World War II. They were taken down the canal to the River Clyde, and on down to England.
An unusual feature of this canal is that it can be operated by one strong man with the long lever arms you can see in the picture. I was able to move one of the gates myself. A local guy said you are supposed to let lock-keepers do it, though it looked pretty easy.
Well, time to bid Glasgow (and Scotland) a fond farewell. Tomorrow I fly to Dublin, and take a train on to Cork to begin explorations of southwestern Ireland.