I am not posting in chronological order, so here’s a little offering about Glasgow – 28th – 30th December 2010.
We arrived in Glasgow at 7.30am. It was dark & wet, I felt like it was time to go to bed & sleep, instead of facing a city just waking up. But after a free breakfast at the hostel and some strong tea we went out into the streets to discover Glasgow.
Walking up to George’s Square, we got a ticket for the hop-on, hop-off bus and went a full circle around to get our bearings. We then went to the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and spent a good hour looking & thinking. There was some interesting instalments, my favourite was the artist who had filmed small children sitting in the back of a car going through a tunnel in Glasgow. A popular game is to try and hold your breath as you go through the tunnel, and the artist captured the various expressions of the children as they did this. A lovely piece on the magic of childhood expression, especially that face all children pull when they hold their breath – the puffed out cheeks and frown of concentration.
Getting on the bus again, we went over the River Clyde to find a yarn store I had found on Ravelry called Yarn Cake, a lovely little shop full of Malabrigo wool, local mill offerings, a nice little range of books (knitting related) and plenty of freshly baked cake and coffee. While walking there we discovered a police box. It was something we kept seeing, in Glasgow and Edinburgh… Sometimes damaged & weary looking, sometimes bright & gleaming. Call me suspicious, but there has to be something odd about that.
After a late lunch in a warm cafe, we tried to see the Turner collection at one of the many galleries Glasgow has. Unfortunately, it was closed over the Christmas holiday, so we caught the bus back, had dinner & went to bed. Only to be woken at 9.30 (I had fallen asleep straight away, despite the earliness!) by a fire alarm that forced us out of the room and into the street. Smoke was coming from somewhere in that hostel, we never found out where.
The next day had Sarah and I were determined to see the Burrell Collection. Located outside of the centre, we caught a train and walked a little to get to it. Housed in a building that is only 30ish years old, the Burrell Collection was simply amazing. The collection of one man, who had over 6000 things that he collected during his lifetime. Parts of his collection include Rodin’s Thinker, several interesting Egyptian pieces, the bed that was made for Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves and some amazing tapestries. He had also picked up various stone doorways and windows that had previously belonged to William Randolph Hearst who had had them shipped to his ‘castle’ in LA at some point in time. The doorways and windows were used to great effect in the gallery, giving the illusion that the actual building had links to the long ago. It was an eclectic mix.
After spending a few hours lost in other worlds contained within the artefacts and artwork collected by Burrell, we reluctantly moved on. Time is frequently not on your side when you’re prone to a bit of a wander through a gallery! We went to Glasgow’s cathedral, an impressive building of dark stone. It houses the tomb of St Mungo, patron saint of Glasgow. Little is known of this saint, as almost all artwork & scripts about him were destroyed in the Scottish Reformation. Also within the Cathedral is Archbishop Blacader’s chapel. I thought this pretty amusing, given that Blackadder III has a cousin McAdder, who is a mad, kilt wearing Scot.
Across the street from the Cathedral is Glasgow’s oldest building, 15th century and rumoured to be a place that Mary Queen of Scots stayed with her husband Darnley (the one who was strangled in his nightgown after his house was blown up). It is not known whether Mary actually did stay here at all, but it makes a good story, especially with the coat of arms above the fireplace.
After a day spent looking at art & religious buildings, we opted for a meal out. The Chippy Doon the Lane was our choice, and despite having to wait an hour and half for a table, it was perfect. The fish & chips came in cardboard containers (recycled cardboard) and I indulged in a Guinness. The fish was excellent, the chips hand cut and perfectly cooked and the atmosphere was cheerful. It was a good finish to a city that I feel I have only just seen the surface.