What a mistake that would have been. Now I know Glasgow is not just a stop on the way to somewhere else. It’s an unsung destination.
Describing Glasgow as a “gray, industrial city”no longer holds true. Today the home of famous shipbuilders is a robust center of finance, commerce and higher education.
Shiny, modern concert and convention centers designed by renowned architect Norman Foster stand on reclaimed land beside the River Clyde.
The huge convention center, shaped to represent ship hulls and built on land formerly called “the Queen’s dog,” is known by a new generation of Glaswegians as the “Armadillo.” A convention center, the “Hydro,” which accommodates 12,000 guests, opened with Glasgow’s own Rod Stewart. Interestingly, the structures are supported by pneumatic foam cushions. Rock on Glasgow!
One interesting tourist site is this bar. No women were allowed to enter until the 1970s. Since then, the owners have made a turnabout by establishing a rule that all managers are women.
The University of Glasgow, founded in 1493, is a shiny example of the city’s link to the old and the new.
The historic, vibrant campus is home to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, reportedly the most visited attraction in Scotland.
Riding in the double-decker “hop on hop off” bus through Glasgow, I loved seeing so many beautiful parks and neighborhoods — like these formal white houses –straight out of “Upstairs Downstairs.”
Who knew that Glasgow has over 90 public gardens?
A stop at the Glasgow Cathedral was one of the highlights of my day. In addition to the weather being glorious to show off the church and its surroundings, there was an organ recital inside. Magnificent!
Down the road a bit from the Cathedral is the Necropolis where Glasgow’s famous sons and daughters rest in peace on the hilltop overlooking the city.
Let me not forget the beer garden that’s in the neighbourhood of the Cathedral. Nothing like a cold pint on a hot summer day.
To shop ’til you drop’, Glasgow’s downtown fashion districts include a massive, glass-topped mall, as well as the stylish Buchanan Street, Argyle Street and Merchant City.
Glasgow memorialises its ship-building past with the Riverside Museum — a “must see” stop on a tour of the city. The modern structure on the Clyde River, built on the site of the former shipyard, has a “transportation” theme that includes early versions of cars, trains, bicycles, motorcycles and 19th century street scene — complete with furnished shops you can walk through and cobblestone streets. The Tall Ship, Glenlee, is anchored to the outside dock. The Glenlee is the UK’s only floating Clyde-built sailing ship. Along the tour I was greeted by a museum docent who was proud to tell me about the Rolls Royce on display. It seems the red “RR” on the museum car tells a story. Apparently during the lifetime of the Henry Ross, inventor of the luxury brand of cars, the insignia on the front of each car had a distinctive red “RR.” Later, after the death of Mr. Ross, the Rolls Royce cars bore a black “RR” in his honour.
The day I visited the Glenlee the ship was held hostage by a band of curious pirates.
After a long day I made my way back on the Hop On bus, past the “Squinty Bridge” – formerly known as the Clyde Arc.”
Would I return to Glasgow? You betcha! There are so many more places to see and explore. The city is alive and active with everything that is modern … and just enough to remind me this is Scotland — a “full” breakfast — a flashback to the past — and their own language.
Thank you, Glasgow for a beautiful and memorable day!