Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Glasgow, vaguely revisited

It's late but I'm determined to get something posted. But first I will turn the cooling rosemary/olive oil bread. There.

So. Right. Glasgow. Nif and I went to Glasgow for a day. After pulling into Queen Street station we made our way to Glasgow Cathedral, where we stayed for the Sunday service. I remember nothing about it, only the weak tea afterward, which was served by big women in bright lipstick and giant hats. But I got to take in the Gothic splendor of the building, and we spent some time wandering downstairs in the crypt. I do love a darkened crypt.

We spent a short while in St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. Nif was enthralled and took loads of photos of the information plates about the different religions. I mostly loved the big statue of Shiva, with her too-many arms and her frozen dance pose, coy pre-destruction shimmy.

As we made our way toward Glasgow Green, (Glasgow's oldest park, dating back to the 1400s!), we had the misfortune of witnessing a group of Protestants out on an Orange parade. These displays of sectarian arrogance fill me with loathing. Nif filmed the marching band while I glared menacingly.

I don't know what I had expected of Glasgow Green. It is more like a giant field than what I would think of as a park, with wee rolling hills and trees for shade. It has been home to many a political demonstration over the last few hundred years, and it also where the People's Palace is situated. The People's Palace contains a history of the city, and while it is a popular tourist destination, there are always more locals than visitors there. It is a point of pride, where parents bring their children to learn about how things used to be. I loved the welcoming dome of the greenhouse, which also serves as the cafe. There is a wooden track running through the displays of plants, so children are kept busy chasing each other and falling down and crying.

Outside there is a fountain topped with a morose looking Queen Victoria, and surrounded by dedications to some select "colonies", one of which was Canada. I was thrilled to see so many cliches carved lovingly into Terra cotta.

We left to wander the streets and make our way to the underground. I attempted to take a photo of some pigeons. Nif stepped in and started filming, and immediately one of the pigeons mounted another. The film is hilarious because Nif becomes immediately flustered and points the camera to the pavement before too many feathers get ruffled. Streets a Glasgae:
We boarded the underground, heading out to Kelvingrove, one of my favourite museums. We knew it would be closed but it is worth the trip just to see the building. Glasgow is full of wonderful red brick structures, completely different from the blackened stone of Edinburgh. The trains of the Glasgow tube resemble half-flattened metal worms, all of which sound as if they have ingested robotic cats that are on fire and frantically climbing a chalk board. It is deafening.

After wandering past Edinburgh University we strolled through the park near Kelvingrove (this was my kind of park - a stream and hills and trees - all very idyllic).
As we lingered outside the grandiose museum (which, by the way, houses Salvador Dali's Christ of St. John of the Cross), we watched a mother attempt to wear out her children by devising various obstacle courses for them to run through, like over the stone benches, along the thick stone walls and over and under the rungs of the bicycle racks. On the way back we saw some of the best graffiti ever. But we lingered so long over it that we missed the last tube and had to catch the bus back to Queen Street. As you can see, it was worth it:



And that is it. I can't help thinking that I've done a poor job on this post. But I'm tired and stressed out. So sorry if it sucks - it's all I've got. I'm flipping the bread one more time and then it is bed time for me.

1 comment:

Brian in Mpls said...

The graffiti is incredible!