I really didn't know what to expect when we began our visit to Scotland. I have had friends and family who have been there and even played golf on the Old Course.....but I didn't set that up in advance, we wanted to see as much as we could so we knew we would be on a whirlwind trip across the country anyway.....maybe next time. We hopped over on Ryan air from Dublin to Glasgow and continued our adventures there.
One of the ways we like to explore a new city is by The Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tours. We find that when we have limited time -- unless there is something very specific we know we want to do - it is a convenient way to see some of the more impressive sights. We have also found that by circling those things that we are interested in during the tour - we can go back to the ones within our allotted time. The problem is never "not enough to see or do" - the problem is you see so many wonderful things that we "always, ALWAYS run out of time". Riding through the city our first impression was that Glasgow is a beautiful -artistic - historical - and gorgeous place to visit. Again - you hear about these places but until you can experience them first hand you don't really know. If you get the chance be sure to visit the city of "Glaswegians".
Founded by a Christian Missionary - St. Mungo around the middle of the 6th century the Glasgow Cathedral sits on the site where he was reported to have started his religious community. You may visit the Cathedral and the St. Mungo Museum - The Cathedral is dark and more austere than many we have visited but I found the plaques and memorials to individuals and groups around the inside walls to be most interesting.
I found this one to be particularly disconcerting. It appears we have been fighting wars in Afghanistan long before our current involvement.
It wasn't the only one. There were regiments which fought and and men and women who died or were honored from around the world. Battles in Europe - Egypt - Indonesia.....and on and on through the World Wars and even conflicts in the middle east today.
It is a sad commentary.
Behind the cathedral and up the hill sits the necropolis. As you can tell hundreds of stone monuments from so far back the rains have washed away the dates. I thought it odd - I wasn't sad going there. Time stands still for no one. Sometimes - selfishly I admit - I think mostly about my life and the people closest to me and I don't appreciate and think about those folks and families that have come before us who did wonderful things to shape history, to care for each other, make unimaginable sacrifices, who lived in very difficult times and still maintained their sense of the goodness of humanity. Just being kind is a way to contribute to the beauty of the world. Hmmmmmm........travel is not just enjoyable - it gives you the opportunity to think differently. I love it.
The University of Glasgow's main campus is a few miles from the downtown area. I decided I wanted to go and visit the Kelvingore Art Gallery and Museum. I will save that for another blog - it rightfully deserves its own pages...but the University alone is worth the visit. I needed to take the subway.....
It really is a "Tube". It is the second oldest Underground or Subway in the World. London was first. But it is fast - easy to navigate since it runs in a circle going opposite directions. An Inner Circle and Outer Circle....you can't get lost. I jumped into the "Tube" and set off for the University.
Established in 1451 - it is the fourth oldest University behind Cambridge, Oxford and the University of Edinburgh. Some of its buildings sit majestically on top of the hill looking as solid and stately as ever,
There is a park that sits in the campus with a peaceful stream, walking paths and benches throughout. It was a warm fall day so I decided to walk through the park to the Kelvingore. Fabulous -
But that isn't all that I liked about Glasgow it isn't just about buildings and parks and subways - it is about people......Glaswegians are whimsical and delightful.
Sitting in front of their city building is a statue of the Duke of Wellington sitting proudly astrid his trusty stead...with a bright orange traffic cone on his head.
The statute was commissioned over 141 years ago. Apparently some students (or student - no one knows for sure) climbed the statue and placed a traffic cone on his head sometime in the 80's. Some thought the prank was hilarious - a don't take ourselves so seriously attitude - but the City Council didn't think it was so funny. They removed it. A few days later another one mysteriously appeared. They again had it removed. This has been going on for over 30 years.
A couple years back the City Council hatched a plan to raise the statue so no more cones could be placed on his head. Apparently this caused a public outcry....petitions were signed, rallies were help, social media became involved. Glaswegians in mass wanted it to stay. The council scrapped the idea. So there it sits in this splendid and historic city - right in front of city hall as a reminder to the public and politicians alike...a reminder "don't take ourselves so seriously. Even in the midst of challenging times - keep a sense of humility - and humor. BRILLIANT !!!!!! I love to travel.
Travel safe - Travel well
BK Travel Tips
To enjoy travel and see the world and often yourself as if for the first time and with with the eyes of a young child.