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Glasgow - Shivering in the Shadow of Edinburgh

overcast 15 °C
View Euro trip 2013 on travellinglise's travel map.

"Glasgow's a bit like Nashville, Tennessee: it doesn't care much for the living, but it really looks after the dead." - Billy Connolley

Foodie moment

Lunch at the Transport museum was a surprise foodie moment. We had fantastic fish and chips (they use Haddock as their fish here), and a Slow cooked Beef Stew. Delicious!


Cultural moment

We know people in Britian eat their dinner pretty early in the evening but tonight this was taken to a ridiculous level. We went out looking for food around 8pm in central Glasgow, and the majority of the food venues had stopped serving food, including local pubs and takeaway shops! There were still a couple of restaurants open, but as we were staying in the main theatre area they were pretty pricey and didn't look like they would be open much longer. I guess people don't go out for dinner on Monday night!!


Wow moment

Today we finally gave up the intrepid way of backpacking life and joined the much easier (pricier but easier) way of the 'tourists' for the day. We bought a hop on, hop off bus pass! It was SO cold up on top of the double decker bus, but so easy to be dropped off at each location's doorstep, or even just take a couple of snaps as we sailed past!


We visited the impressive Glasgow Cathedral (St Mungo's Cathedral), which is one of very few Scottish medieval churches (and the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland) to have survived the Reformation not unroofed. It is no longer technically a cathedral as it is home to the Church of Scotland. The church was very nice, but we have seen a lot of churches over the past few months, yet next to the church was something completely different which filled Mark with excitement, a necropolis (yes he's strange!). From next to the church yard you can walk over a bridge (The Bridge of Sighs - named after the one in Venice), and you are at the base of a huge hill scattered with monuments, statues and graves of varying heights and grandeur. The Necropolis was built in 1833 to provide people with an alternative option to being buried in the church yard. At this time the people of Glasgow were fairly wealthy, and this was an opportunity to build large, grand monuments in memory of their dead loved ones. Over 50 thousand people were buried at the Necropolis and over 3,500 monuments built. At the top of the hill is a statue of John Knox who was the leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland. Overall an interesting place to explore, don't think I'd want to be there after dark though! (Mark would love it on the other hand!!)


We also visited the Riverside Museum, which houses the award winning (and free!!) Museum of Transport. I can see why it has won awards as one of the best European museums, particular favourite parts were stepping back in time onto an old tube train, as well as walking down a old cobbled street of the past with fully stocked shops and businesses to explore on each side.


The Botanic gardens were a great find, in particular exploring the 'Kibble Palace' and the maze of greenhouses stuffed full of plants from all over the world.


What we learnt today

Not unlike the great battles of words conducted between major cities of countries all over the world, there is no love lost between Glasgow and Edinburgh. From the moment we arrived in either city, our guides liked to make 'jokes' about the other one, and go out of their way to show why their city is better. Personally I feel the Edinburgh is much harsher on Glasgow than vice versa (Glasgow is much more tongue in cheek when talking about their superiority). We were often asked where we were going next, and when we answered Glasgow, we were asked why on earth we would do that! Needless to say after what everyone had said we had very low expectation of the city, and although it doesn't have the romanticism and beauty of Edinburgh, its still a nice city to walk around with many places of value to visit (plus I heard their music scene is SO much better.... ) Ah well, I'll leave them to their rivalry, we Melbournians have our own problems ensuring we keep Sydney's ego in check!

Next year Scotland is holding a referendum to decide if they will gain their independence from Great Britain. This is obviously a huge deal, and everywhere we've visited people have opinions on whether it should happen and why. After what we have learnt on our trip, particularly their violent history with England, I'm can understand the push for independence. After all, historically they never wanted to be under the control (or in 'partnership') with England. On the other side, I just don't know how they could survive without support from England, the British treasurer has already said they wouldn't be allowed to stay on the British pound, and how would the borders work? They may have to rebuild Hadrian's wall!! Our guide says that he believes that the vote will be in favour of staying part of Britain, but it will be close and it won't be necessarily because of a 'fondness' of the English! Watch this space..


Posted by travellinglise 08:36 Archived in Scotland

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Really enjoyed this blog! Great pics and nice info.

by lelanius

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