Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gothic, grimy, glorious Glasgow

Travelling by ferry and train from Dublin, via Holyhead and Bangor (Wales) and Crewe (England), to Glasgow, takes all day. The landscape gradually changes from the grey rocks and slate of Wales to the red brick and tile of England. The changes of train are diverting and make the journey seem shorter; it is an easy way to spend the day, although rather grimy windows make watching the landscape less interesting than it might be. We celebrate our first train trip with a glass of red wine.
Adelaide's - our Baptist Church accommodation
In Glasgow, even brides wear black
Arriving in Glasgow we haul our bags from Central Station, along Hope St to to Bath St. It's an impressive but grimy city at first glance - masses of intact buildings in a variety of architectural styles - neo-classical, art nouveau and gothic revival, in various shades of red, sandstone, grey and black. Bath St is lined with elegant tenements until we reach the austere looking neo-classical building that houses Adelaide's, situated in a Baptist church building. We explore the restaurants along Sauchiehall Street (pronounced Socky-hall, although I prefer Saucy-hall), and end up at an Italian cafe near our place. It's ok, but it's not Carluccio's.
The next day we make a big decision to cancel the Edinburgh side-trip and stay in Glasgow - I think Chris is in love.
Glasgow Art School has major development happening (like COFA in Sydney)
Beautiful Kelvingrove Park
We are excited by: 
Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed Glasgow School of Arts - we luck into a 'test' tour of Glasgow city architecture, led by Glasgow School of Arts students, and most of the testers are students too. It's a lot of fun, and a great intro to the city. 
The museums - St Mungo's at the cathedral presents a global range of religious art and artefacts, Kelvingrove has everything from stuffed animals to French impressionists and of course lots more Rennie Mackintosh, the Burrell collection has stunning collections of art and artefacts from antiquity to 20th century. 
  • Lunch at the Centre for Contemporary Art - a very groovy urban redevelopment where a courtyard between buildings has been roofed. Excellent vegetarian cafe, contemporary shows of art and cinema, and 'cultural' studios.
  • Supper at Rogano's - art deco 'oyster bar'.
  • Best meal - Charcoals - South Indian Tandoori & curries - the best Indian food we've had for years.
  • Cafe at CCA
    The art school City Tour group
Going gothic at the Necropolis
Dr Who???
City busker
We are challenged by:
Walk along the river's edge in the city - urban renewal has been attempted but there's a way to go - it's grimy, gritty and a bit scary.
Saturday night in Merchant City - it's kind of like the Rocks in Sydney, 'hens' night outings abound, and it's bogan city.

After five days we have explored quite thoroughly and are ready for the next adventure.
Watching Andy Murray in Wimbledon final

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