Trip Report: Glasgow, Scotland

Old May 23rd, 2022, 12:11 PM
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Trip Report: Glasgow, Scotland

This is Phase II of my trip to Scotland (covered 4 days on the Isle of Bute in a separate thread).

Lodging: I prefer to stay in an apartment so I can eat dinner at home and relax after a day of sightseeing. Once I figured what sights I'd be seeing, I looked for a VRBO or AirbnB in that general area (which was City Center). Many of the reviews commented about street noise, so I decided not to stay right next to Central Station. Rates were higher than I expected (the same or slightly higher than a hotel) but I dithered so long that by the time I was ready to reserve, the rates on the apt I liked best were reduced by $20 per night. I stayed in a one-bedroom in the Albion building on Ingram Street; it had 3 huge, tall windows, a full kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. I loved the natural light and furnishings were comfortable. But, there was a lot of street noise (people, not vehicles.) Those huge old windows aren't double-paned! But, the bedroom was in the back and was very quiet, so the street noise didn't matter.

Thursday, May 12: I had arrived in Glasgow around noon so after getting settled in the apartment, decided to go to the Visitor Center on Buchanan Street and then the Tenement Museum. Walked to the Visitor Center and they were very helpful with brochures, bus information etc. They suggested I could easily walk to the Tenement Museum in about 20 minutes so off I went. Bought a sandwich and soda and sat on the steps outside John Lewis to eat and people watch. Then kept walking and walking and a little more walking.


The Tenement Museum only has four rooms but I bought the guidebook and sat in an exhibition room to read that first. I was intrigued to learn that “tenement” doesn’t have the negative connotations it does now and that while there were different tiers of tenements, they were middle-class or above. The rooms were quite interesting and the whole back history of the unmarried woman who lived there for 60 years, and then after she died an actress bought it, lived in it for seven years and then donated it or sold it to the national trust, was fascinating. The original occupant kept everything so they have all kinds of records, notes, letters and actual items. She wrote a lot of letters which have been transcribed them and are on display; unusual to read a casual, first person account World War II in Glasgow; London blitz; and her holidays to the beach. Again, the docents were eager to share their knowledge and I had a very nice conversation with them. Bought a tea towel and headed off to take a bus back to the apartment. Another adventure where I had to ask several people for directions and when I got on the bus and tried to buy my First Week pass, the driver didn’t have any, so he let me on at no charge and told me to buy one on the next bus I got onto.

Got home (stopped in a Sainsbury along the way and bought a Spaghetti Bolognese) for dinner.

Friday, May 13 Since it was supposed to rain all day, I thought it would be a good time to go to Holmwood house (National Trust of Scotland). Note: it barely rained at all; these weather forecasts are really inaccurate. Took a bus to Central Station and the driver was very helpful in selling me my FirstWeek pass & he put it together for me (the receipt has to go under the plastic clingfilm just precisely right). At the train station, I stood in the middle for a second to get my bearings and some Visitor Assistance people asked if I needed help, so I told them what train I wanted & they showed me how to read the platform and which train time I wanted; bought the ticket and was all set. I find everybody very friendly and helpful.

When I got off the train, there were no signs for Holmwood house or any hints; walked to the main street and asked in the Express Cafe but they never heard of it. Tried walking to the left, under the bridge and spotted a sign. It was an uphill walk through a residential area, which felt long but was probably only 10 minutes. Approaching the house, I was very surprised – it was so unusual and modern looking, although built in 1867. All visitors are required to book a tour to be escorted through the house and there were six other people at the 1130 slot. Since I was early I went into the café and bought a scone which they warmed up for me and ate sitting on the front steps eating - quite tasty. I also bought a tea towel, a guide book and a National Trust of Scotland pin.

The tour guide was not Scottish, maybe eastern European and relatively new to the house. What an interesting house and so unexpected! It turns out that the renovation was just completed and this is the first season that the house has been open with the new furnishings and wall frescoes etc. Extremely vibrant colors, very 1920s or 30s looking but this was done in 1867. The restoration team figured out what carpet designs would have been used at that time and designed new ones to replicate the old ones and boy, are they lush, thick, great colors and designs (photo below of one). He said that they don't get many non-Glasgow visitors and barely any international ones, which is a shame since it was easy to get to and a chance to learn about an architect and family that I wouldn't have run across otherwise.

The walk back to the train station seemed about half as long! Took photos of some nice various residential gardens along the way. Once back at Central Station, bought some supplies at Sainsbury’s in the station and since it was only 2:00, I decided to go to the cathedral and necropolis.

I asked the bus driver if the bus went to the Cathedral and he seemed uncertain; when I sat down, the lady behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said these bus drivers don’t know anything. She said they’ve hired a lot of new ones and they don’t really know the city etc. We chatted a long time and then she told me which stop to get off – another friendly Glaswegian.

Contrary to the Cathedral’s web site, there was no admission fee and audio guides were available for rent. The audio guide was excellent and really added to my understanding & enjoyment; each stop on the audio tour provided an additional option to listen to more information, including church music. The Cathedral is not as ornate as some, but being spare, it’s easy to admire the architecture and windows. I particularly enjoyed the lower church because being one story, it was very easy to see the details and impact of the vaulted ceiling, stone pillars etc. St. Mungo’s tomb was in the lower church, simply displayed with a woven covering and chairs for pondering. When I finished, it was 4 o’clock and the necropolis closes at 4:30 but the cathedral Guard said they never really close the gates so you won’t get locked in. Off I went, but I hadn’t realized that the cemetery is built on a hill, in circular levels going up, up, up. I went up a bit and then opted to call it quits for the day; it was too steep and since I didn’t have a map of the graveyard to see the particularly noteworthy graves, I was walking along reading inscriptions on headstones.

I was going to take a bus back home and at the first bus stop I came to, my bus didn’t stop there so at the next bus stop I asked a lady who was waiting and she said “oh, it’s so close you can walk to it”. I thought “famous last words” but she was right and I was home. (More hills but I realize that Glasgow is a hilly city. If I lived here, I’d be super-fit and toned!)


Holmwood House, Glasgow

Recreated carpet, Holmwood House

Next: Kelvingrove, Botanic Gardens, Kelvin & Clyde Walkways, People's Palace, Burrell and Celtics
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 01:44 PM
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Very cool rug!
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Old May 23rd, 2022, 08:37 PM
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Thank you vickiebypass for a terrific trip report about your visit to the city that 'adopted' me well over sixty years ago. I am very much looking forward to your next instalment.

Last edited by billbarr; May 23rd, 2022 at 08:41 PM.
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Old May 24th, 2022, 06:16 AM
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Thanks for reading and the kind words!

Saturday, May 14 (sunny-ish) Weather was supposed to be dry today so decided to make this the day to go to the botanic Gardens, do the Kelvin walkway and Kelvingrove Museum. On the way to the bus stop, I noticed families, groups of young men, men and girls all wearing green and white or green walking east on Ingram Street. At the bus stop, I asked an older man if the Celtic stadium was east of Ingram Street and he confirmed yes. He explained that the Celtics had enough points after their last game to clinch the Scottish football championship but today’s game was for raising the Championship cup and the glory. He said the game was at noon so those folks I saw were heading to the pubs around the stadium for an early start to celebrating.

Since the bus ride to the Botanic Garden was 12 stops I sat in the very front seat on the top deck of the bus. Love those upper deck seats because you can see so much and admire the upper stories of buildings. At the Botanic Garden, which is free, I stopped at a snack kiosk for a bacon sandwich; the last time I got a bacon sarnie (in Northumberland) I didn’t have any sauce but since then have been told by multiple people that the traditional way to eat a bacon sandwich is with HP sauce…so I asked her to go light on the HP in case I hated it but I liked it. Also got a piece of shortbread with chocolate nuggets in it (which was the same price as the entire bacon sandwich – go figure).

Lots of people all ages and nationalities out enjoying the nice weather. I went into one of the glass houses which had arid, desert and palm environments. Arid was interesting because they made a point of saying it is NOT cactus; arid is Africa like the Sahara, Namib and Kalilhari. I liked the grass tree which looked like a Dr. Seuss tree.

Didn’t see any signs for the Kelvin walkway, which is a path leading from the Botanic Garden along the Kelvin river down to the Kelvingrove art museum and then beyond to the Clyde River; I had read about it on some Glasgow website and picked up a brochure from the visitor center. I asked a worker how to get to the Kelvin walkway and we commiserated about having bad knees and wanting to avoid the way that included lots of steps and was very steep, so I went a different direction which was longer but flatter. Although I was only in the Botanic Gardens for a little bit, they looked very interesting; I don’t think there were a lot of flowers in bloom but they have explanatory signage on many trees and plantings highlighting why that particular item is noteworthy (not just the scientific info). If I didn’t already have a mission for the day, I would’ve spent more time there and strolled all around. Very pleasant.

Found the walkway path; it follows the river alongside trees, underbrush, undergrowth, river views, birds plus lots of people walking, riding bikes and walking dogs, certainly not crowded but enough activity that it didn’t feel eerie. The brochure provided by the Visitors Center was published by the Glasgow civil engineers group and explains how bridges are built and has pictures and descriptions of each bridge that you pass which makes it interesting. At the halfway point, there was an old station that has been turned into a bar/restaurant. I bought a Diet Coke so I could use their toilet; chatted to the bartender about the Celtic game and that I should probably not watch the FA cup game (Liverpool v Aston Villa) in a bar. Kept walking. Met a guy on the trail who asked me if he was going the right direction and told me it’s supposed to be a 20 minute walk to Kelvingrove; well, I probably walked for 45 minutes because I stopped to look at the birds, take a few pictures, read the brochure, etc. No rush.

Noticed several bridges had the Glasgow crest on it and part of the crest is the story of St. Mungo that I learned about at the Cathedral yesterday – with salmon who caught a ring in their mouths and a bird.

When I reached Kelvingrove museum, the info desk man mentioned that at 1:00 there was an organ concert in the central hall, which was in about three minutes. I’m glad he reminded me because I had wanted to hear that but in my usual bustle of arriving at a place, hot, needing the bathroom, trying to figure out what do I do next, etc I forgotten about the organ recital. Found a nice spot on the floor leaning against the column and enjoyed the next 30 minutes; he played some classical music, Hallelujah, When the Saints Go Marching In, and Dancing Queen so a lively mix that got the audience moving in their seats. I got a chuckle out of watching a young girl with striped tights running around and lying on the floor face down like she was asleep in her bed.

This is super museum – it’s not huge so is manageable (versus Louvre, Metropolitan, British Museum, etc.). Artwork is arranged in themed galleries which makes you think a bit rather than going through based on a timeline. I particularly enjoyed the Looking at Art section, where they selected paintings and gave the viewer different suggestions on how to look at them. Interesting approach. The paintings they selected were ones I hadn’t seen before so that was also interesting. Intrigued by the galleries for Scottish artists including the Scottish Colorists and the Glasgow Boys (liked the Colorists, not the Boys). The gallery on conflict has a wide range armor including Japanese, Chinese and from the island of Kiribati. Nothing specific about Scottish troops in any of the wars; however, there was a politically correct section where they had photos of Scottish regiments involved in India and other colonial nations with signage along the lines of “what did Scotland do” and “why did Scotland do it”.

They had a fair amount of French art including some Monet, Matisse, Dufy, and others - a nice little collection. The central hall had a whole exhibit of wild animals which I bypassed but was very popular with families and kids as you can imagine. There was a section called Glasgow Stories which provided glimpses into various lives.

Was getting very tired so decided to take the bus to Marks & Spencer to buy one of those raincoats I see all the women wearing here – very lightweight, knee length and longer in the back. Took forever for the bus to come but I chatted a bit with some other people and just people watched. On the bus, went to the top deck where there were about six very young rowdy Celtic fans. Argyle Street, where M&S is located, was a mob scene of fans.

Groups singing “Champions Again”, waving flags etc. (I guess they don’t sing Championes Ole Ole Ole here). Green flares going off; lots of Magner’s shirts (they must sponsor Celtics.) There may have been some over-imbibing but they weren’t obnoxious, just happy. In M&S, I bought two packages of spaghetti Bolognese and one of spaghetti carbonara for my dinner for the next three nights; after taste testing, M&S’s is far superior to Sainsbury’s. Also bought some shortbread cookies to bring home – my suitcase and backpack are going to weigh 5,000 pounds. They had no rain coats so I asked a fellow shopper and she said “oh you should go to Frasers, they have a whole coat department & is right nearby”. So off I go into the crowd of fans and am there in about eight minutes. Going inside, it’s clear this is a high-end store because I came entered into the Versace department. It’s one of those stores where they have different brands in each department and the people that work there only know what their brand carries. I asked two people and the answer was no, no raincoats. So I trudged home.


Stayed at home watching the Liverpool v Aston Villa game because I didn’t think it would be safe or popular to ask a bar to show that today!

Sunday, May 15 (rainy then sun) Spent 90 minutes or so figuring out pre-flight Covid test options (made a reservation for airport testing) and airport bus timing.

Took a bus to People’s Palace at around noon. It’s in a large park called Glasgow Green and in front of the building is the Doulton fountain which is the largest terra-cotta fountain in the world. Built in the 1870s, it celebrates Victoria and the empire; she’s at the top and there are four sides with a man and woman representing the four areas of the empire: South Africa, India, Canada & Australia. A classic of its type.

The museum is free and a perfect size. Two floors (the top floor is closed due to roof damage). Appealing variety of themes they used for exhibitions: drinking; World War II; prisons and executions; the steamie (communal laundry); dancing at Barrowlands dance hall; and more. Saw an Andersen air shelter which I’ve read about but had never actually seen; corrugated steel like a beehive, very small inside. Interesting video about tenements and the bustling life of tenements and all the people in each building. Two women were talking about ration cards and remembering having one in their name, so I asked them about it and we chatted about their memories as children.

One of the displays was about a boxer, Benny Lynch, who was born in the Gorbals section of Glasgow. My impression of the Gorbals from mystery novels is as a really bad, dangerous, worse than shabby area across the river from the rest of Glasgow. So I asked one of the staff about the Gorbals and he was a fountain of information. We talked for probably 20 minutes about the Gorbals and how in the 1980s everything was torn down, high-rises were put up for low income people; then they were torn down and single-family homes were built a combination of detached and semi detached; and the area is now very expensive to live in with coffee shops etc. He also told me about an area where he was born north of the Botanic Gardens that was similar and has been gentrified. I asked him why the flag everyone was carrying for the Celtics championship was green, white and orange since those are Ireland’s colors; he explained that the Celtics football club was started by an Irish priest way back as a way to get boys off the street and give them something to do (in the east end, and in Gorbals and other areas). So, the colors are the club’s colors, not the country’s colors which explains that mystery. We also talked about the building right next to the Peoples Palace which used to be a carpet factory and was a very surprising architectural style and tile mix; he said that when it was built in the 1870s, this was an expensive area and all the wealthy folks lived here so they did not want a carpet factory built in their area. They went through multiple submission processes and finally the carpet people submitted architectural drawings for a building that was based on the Doges palace in Venice. Which, after he said that, it did look like; crenellations at the top, mini terrace and artistic tiling on the red sandstone bottom. Even more interesting was a subsequent building that was attached to the first at a later date which matched the red sandstone and maintained the tiling theme along the top; attached to that building, as a third building now, was a very modern building but still with the same red brick sandstone so keeping the architectural theme consistent over all three buildings and 150 years or so. With the exception of the young guy at Holmwood House who I think was new in his job, all of the museum staff have been consistently knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.

I decided to walk along the Clyde Walkway and had no sooner walked 10 minutes and was standing in an overlook watching a bunch of young kids learning how to row when I felt something wet and couldn’t figure out what it was – a bird had dumped on me!! All over my hand, purse, shirt and pants - everywhere! My first thought was to wipe everything off in wet grass but the grass wasn’t wet; I only had a few Kleenex but what I needed was a baby wipe. I saw a guy minding a carriage & asked him but he had none; saw a woman with a carriage at the overlook and she had none but gave me a couple of Kleenex; so I walked along a little bit and then in the distance spotted ice cream truck. I figured he probably sold water and when I explained to him what had happened, he gave me a bunch of napkins and a hand wipe plus the bottle of water. I managed to wipe off 90% of it and was able to use the purse without wincing.

Kept walking, looking at the bridges and reading my bridge brochure. Walked across a suspension bridge which was pretty cool to see the suspension cables and the design up close. It was almost 4:00 and I was getting tired but I noticed a church with an open front door so of course I decided to check that out. It was Saint Andrews Catholic Church, right on the river. The interior surprised me; the exterior looked like it was built 19th century but the inside has been totally renovated; it’s very white with painted decorations such as blue ribbons outlined in gilt swirled around columns, a lot of gilt around the altar, gilt at the tops of the columns; old stained glass windows used as decor on the walls; blond wood pews and blond wood altar, very subdued. Only two side chapels, one with a classical Madonna and Child sculpture surrounded by a very modern abstract metallic sculpture. The outdoor area had a reflecting pool and lots of shiny silver monoliths with religious sayings inscribed on them. All in all, not what I expected so always good to challenge myself! It didn’t particularly appeal to me aesthetically but while I was there at least six people came in and it seems to be well used by the local community.

Headed back up toward Argyle Street and home; the sun was out so I was going to sit on a bench in Argyle Street and people watch but the quite elderly lady on the bench next to me started smoking and it was too much. Went into Poundland and found my favorite Sea samphire and mint shower gel so I bought three of them, which is going to weigh a ton.

Came home and had one of my other M & S dinners, spaghetti carbonara; heavier than the spag bol but still tasty.

Monday, May 16 (rainy) Pouring rain when I woke up today so waited an hour or so to go out. Based on the recommendation of the nice Scottish couple at Holmwood a couple of days ago, I decided to go to the Burrell collection. Just reopened in March after being closed for six years in a new building with lots more on display.

Took bus for 19 stops and the little free shuttle bus (a green mini electric bus) was right there so I hopped on. It’s about a mile from the main road to the actual collection building and en route through the Parkland there were a couple of fields with hairy red Highlander cows with big, huge, pointy horns. They are shaggy a.k.a. hairy and a sight to see. Very happy to have seen them.

Museum was free and I spent about three hours there including lunch. Instead of having objects arranged by era, e.g. all the Egyptian items in one gallery and all the Chinese items in a separate gallery, they were intermingled. The flaw in the system was that there was no connecting theme as to why they were intermingled – or at least, there was no signage explaining the theme. But, an interesting variety of items including lots of very early Chinese figures from the Ming dynasty. Lots of china items in general so I guess William Burrell must’ve been interested in China and porcelain. Also suits of armor; stained glass; some Impressionist and Scottish boys paintings; Egyptian stuff and more.

Had lunch in their restaurant which was very busy and utilitarian looking, so not exactly fine dining or relaxing. Had a bacon cheeseburger that was fine; also had a cider- Thistly Cross-which was tasty but made me feel sluggish afterward for a few hours. Drank lots of water to counteract the cider! Went back through more galleries but I was on overload at this point. Not a fan of this museum; while there were many items displayed, it all seemed haphazard. I decided it was time to leave so got the shuttle bus to the bus stop on the main road. Chatted with three couples who had also been at the museum while we waited for the bus.

Back at the flat, I packed and put all the shower gel and the heavy cookies into the suitcase; my Ikea backpack is full of dirty laundry, cookies & Cadbury.

The airport express bus was easy; the airport COVID test was even easier – I had made a 9:45 appt, but got there at 9:00 and they took me right away. You swab your own nostrils, wait 10 minutes in their designated area and get a paper copy of the results (£55 and well worth it; there were less expensive options in the city but this guaranteed the rapid results and seemed like less hassle to me….which it was). More Scottish football – it turns out that the other Glasgow team, Rangers, was playing the Europa League final in Seville the next day, so the airport was full of fans wearing Ranger shirts/hats/scarves going to the game. Many were wearing sombreros, which I don’t think they wear in Spain, but maybe…. This was the first time in many years that the club was going to a final, so they were all happy; every bar, lounge, seating area was full of fans. I got into the Upper Deck lounge which was a bit quieter and settled in to read for a few hours. Started chatting with two men near me who were going to the game and we talked for a long time.

My take away….

First and foremost, I have my travel mojo back!! I was worried that the COVID inertia and loss of spontaneity might have taken away my desire or confidence in making all the zillions of logistical decisions involved in traveling. This trip proved NOT AT ALL! Not only can I do it, I love it.

I’ve visited Scotland several times before but this trip was special. I appreciated the contrast between rural Bute and bustling Glasgow and think I may incorporate more rural travel into my plans. I’m independent and take pride in figuring things out, but this time I made a conscious decision to go with the flow and relied on the kindness of strangers….which was fulfilled more than I could have anticipated.

At People’s Palace, I bought a “People Make Glasgow” tea towel; this is a slogan you see all over Glasgow, on buses, pennants, banners, signs, etc. This is the background: “in 2013, the people of Glasgow…were invited to participate in a conversation to create a new city brand by responding to the question “What makes Glasgow great?” Contributions were received from more than 1,500 people in 42 countries. The overwhelming response was that it is the people of Glasgow that make the city great…Glaswegians have a global reputation for being welcoming, helpful and friendly people who take a real pride in their city.” Based on my experience, I have to agree. People at bus stops, walkers, shop clerks, etc – everyone seemed genuinely happy to talk.

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Old May 24th, 2022, 07:05 AM
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A thoroughly enjoyable read, thank you for taking the time to share your trip with us!
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Old May 25th, 2022, 09:07 AM
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Yes, please in Glasagow are very friendly and hlepful

I have found them so willing to help..If they call you "Hen", know that it is a friendly term!!

Originally Posted by vickiebypass View Post
This is Phase II of my trip to Scotland (covered 4 days on the Isle of Bute in a separate thread).

Lodging: I prefer to stay in an apartment so I can eat dinner at home and relax after a day of sightseeing. Once I figured what sights I'd be seeing, I looked for a VRBO or AirbnB in that general area (which was City Center). Many of the reviews commented about street noise, so I decided not to stay right next to Central Station. Rates were higher than I expected (the same or slightly higher than a hotel) but I dithered so long that by the time I was ready to reserve, the rates on the apt I liked best were reduced by $20 per night. I stayed in a one-bedroom in the Albion building on Ingram Street; it had 3 huge, tall windows, a full kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. I loved the natural light and furnishings were comfortable. But, there was a lot of street noise (people, not vehicles.) Those huge old windows aren't double-paned! But, the bedroom was in the back and was very quiet, so the street noise didn't matter.

Thursday, May 12: I had arrived in Glasgow around noon so after getting settled in the apartment, decided to go to the Visitor Center on Buchanan Street and then the Tenement Museum. Walked to the Visitor Center and they were very helpful with brochures, bus information etc. They suggested I could easily walk to the Tenement Museum in about 20 minutes so off I went. Bought a sandwich and soda and sat on the steps outside John Lewis to eat and people watch. Then kept walking and walking and a little more walking.


The Tenement Museum only has four rooms but I bought the guidebook and sat in an exhibition room to read that first. I was intrigued to learn that “tenement” doesn’t have the negative connotations it does now and that while there were different tiers of tenements, they were middle-class or above. The rooms were quite interesting and the whole back history of the unmarried woman who lived there for 60 years, and then after she died an actress bought it, lived in it for seven years and then donated it or sold it to the national trust, was fascinating. The original occupant kept everything so they have all kinds of records, notes, letters and actual items. She wrote a lot of letters which have been transcribed them and are on display; unusual to read a casual, first person account World War II in Glasgow; London blitz; and her holidays to the beach. Again, the docents were eager to share their knowledge and I had a very nice conversation with them. Bought a tea towel and headed off to take a bus back to the apartment. Another adventure where I had to ask several people for directions and when I got on the bus and tried to buy my First Week pass, the driver didn’t have any, so he let me on at no charge and told me to buy one on the next bus I got onto.

Got home (stopped in a Sainsbury along the way and bought a Spaghetti Bolognese) for dinner.

Friday, May 13 Since it was supposed to rain all day, I thought it would be a good time to go to Holmwood house (National Trust of Scotland). Note: it barely rained at all; these weather forecasts are really inaccurate. Took a bus to Central Station and the driver was very helpful in selling me my FirstWeek pass & he put it together for me (the receipt has to go under the plastic clingfilm just precisely right). At the train station, I stood in the middle for a second to get my bearings and some Visitor Assistance people asked if I needed help, so I told them what train I wanted & they showed me how to read the platform and which train time I wanted; bought the ticket and was all set. I find everybody very friendly and helpful.

When I got off the train, there were no signs for Holmwood house or any hints; walked to the main street and asked in the Express Cafe but they never heard of it. Tried walking to the left, under the bridge and spotted a sign. It was an uphill walk through a residential area, which felt long but was probably only 10 minutes. Approaching the house, I was very surprised – it was so unusual and modern looking, although built in 1867. All visitors are required to book a tour to be escorted through the house and there were six other people at the 1130 slot. Since I was early I went into the café and bought a scone which they warmed up for me and ate sitting on the front steps eating - quite tasty. I also bought a tea towel, a guide book and a National Trust of Scotland pin.

The tour guide was not Scottish, maybe eastern European and relatively new to the house. What an interesting house and so unexpected! It turns out that the renovation was just completed and this is the first season that the house has been open with the new furnishings and wall frescoes etc. Extremely vibrant colors, very 1920s or 30s looking but this was done in 1867. The restoration team figured out what carpet designs would have been used at that time and designed new ones to replicate the old ones and boy, are they lush, thick, great colors and designs (photo below of one). He said that they don't get many non-Glasgow visitors and barely any international ones, which is a shame since it was easy to get to and a chance to learn about an architect and family that I wouldn't have run across otherwise.

The walk back to the train station seemed about half as long! Took photos of some nice various residential gardens along the way. Once back at Central Station, bought some supplies at Sainsbury’s in the station and since it was only 2:00, I decided to go to the cathedral and necropolis.

I asked the bus driver if the bus went to the Cathedral and he seemed uncertain; when I sat down, the lady behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said these bus drivers don’t know anything. She said they’ve hired a lot of new ones and they don’t really know the city etc. We chatted a long time and then she told me which stop to get off – another friendly Glaswegian.

Contrary to the Cathedral’s web site, there was no admission fee and audio guides were available for rent. The audio guide was excellent and really added to my understanding & enjoyment; each stop on the audio tour provided an additional option to listen to more information, including church music. The Cathedral is not as ornate as some, but being spare, it’s easy to admire the architecture and windows. I particularly enjoyed the lower church because being one story, it was very easy to see the details and impact of the vaulted ceiling, stone pillars etc. St. Mungo’s tomb was in the lower church, simply displayed with a woven covering and chairs for pondering. When I finished, it was 4 o’clock and the necropolis closes at 4:30 but the cathedral Guard said they never really close the gates so you won’t get locked in. Off I went, but I hadn’t realized that the cemetery is built on a hill, in circular levels going up, up, up. I went up a bit and then opted to call it quits for the day; it was too steep and since I didn’t have a map of the graveyard to see the particularly noteworthy graves, I was walking along reading inscriptions on headstones.

I was going to take a bus back home and at the first bus stop I came to, my bus didn’t stop there so at the next bus stop I asked a lady who was waiting and she said “oh, it’s so close you can walk to it”. I thought “famous last words” but she was right and I was home. (More hills but I realize that Glasgow is a hilly city. If I lived here, I’d be super-fit and toned!)


Holmwood House, Glasgow

Recreated carpet, Holmwood House

Next: Kelvingrove, Botanic Gardens, Kelvin & Clyde Walkways, People's Palace, Burrell and Celtics
ayemimi2007 is offline  
Old May 25th, 2022, 09:09 AM
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Meant to say PEOPLE in Glasgow...not PLEASE..Autocorrect, perhaps?????
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Old Jun 26th, 2022, 12:34 PM
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Lovely report, vickiebp. I admire your traveling (and writing!) style; will pick up some tips.
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Old Jun 26th, 2022, 01:29 PM
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Lovely report -- Your combo of Bute and Glasgow is a really good two fer -- being so different but also convenient to each other. Have no idea how I missed this when first posted -- but I was out of town part of that week.

The Burrell was closed my last visit to Glasgow -- it sounds like they completely re-staged the collections during the closure - and not in a good way.

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Old Jun 27th, 2022, 06:25 AM
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Thanks for an interesting and informative report!
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