Monday, April 4, 2011

Glasgow a-go-go

Spent the day in Glasgow, after once again missing the bus that we intended to get on. I swear, with Chris-Anne here I've apparently lost all ability to read a bus timetable. This has never happened! It was only once she got here and I had to show off my ability to get us places in a timely fashion that it all went downhill!

But after that got sorted out, we made our way to Glasgow. Considering that the only 'big city' in Scotland I'd been to was Edinburgh (unless you count Dundee, but we only go for the Primark...) Glasgow was quite the different flavor. Less historic, more architectural, more industrial. Honestly, coming out of the bus station and on to Buchanan Street it looked remarkably similar to any other big city I'd been in. Tall buildings with shopping and food, busy roads, and... that's about it.

And the rain -- oh the rain. The cold and the wet and the windy. Which, I know, Scotland.

But it was a day in a city I'd never been in, so that's a win right there.

Chris-Anne wanted to go to the Glasgow Modern Art Museum. She is an artist. I can doodle squiggles on a napkin. Which, apparently, qualifies as modern art. I don't get modern art, I don't understand art that's just supposed to make people uncomfortable (like some guy dressed as a piece of luggage and sitting on a shelf at his own party while people sit around him going 'what is going on?'). I like my art pretty. But I'm a good friend and a good sport. Even if it took us forever and a day to find it.

The trade-off for me is that I wanted to go see Glasgow Cathedral. I'm a sucker for an old cathedral or castle, and Glasgow is one of the delightfully old ones with amazing stained glass. According to its website, "The first stone built Glasgow Cathedral was dedicated in the presence of King David I in 1136. The present building was consecrated in 1197. Since that same period the Cathedral has never been unroofed and the worship of God has been carried out within its walls for more than 800 years."

It's also apparently one of the few (or the only) ancient cathedral in Scotland to survive the Protestant Reformation unscathed. With that in mind, I find the statue of John Knox looking down from the Necropolis on the hill by the cathedral amusing.

The main window, but only a taste of the amazing stained glass throughout.

The relics of St Kentigern (better known as St Mungo, patron saint and founder of the city of Glasgow). Sadly, the first thing that popped into my head was 'oh, isn't that the name of something in Harry Potter?'

Outside, we decide to walk up the hill to the Necropolis because we both kind of have a fascination with old graveyards. The Necropolis is a Victorian cemetary dating from 1833 and anyone who was anyone within Glasgow society was buried there during it's time.

There are many opinions on where the name Glasgow came from, but many scholars argue that it means 'the place of the grey rock' (instead of the more common 'the dear green place') and it refers to Fir Park, also known as the Glasgow Necropolis.

On a clear day, like the day became once we got out of the museum, you can see far across the city from the grey rock. We would've lingered longer, but after getting stuck in Glenrothes the day before, I'm not taking any chances on waiting for the last bus.

So we head back down, hang out with the pigeons in St George Square for a while, before hopping the bus back to St Andrews. And collapsing because boy were my feet tired after the past couple of days!

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