October 20, 2010

0 Scotland Trip; Glasgow, October 19-22

 The dates are a little deceptive, we actually arrived in Glasgow after dark (5 PM...) on the 19th and left the morning of the 22nd.  The actual dates of Glasgow-exploration were the 20-21.   Glasgow has a poor reputation, being known for crime, poverty, and a history of widespread disease, but they've put a remarkable effort into changing that stereotype- and we noticed.  Both Paul and I really liked Glasgow, commenting repeatedly on how enjoyable we each found the city.   The newer reputation is one of the arts: music, visual arts, and architecture, and that's right up my alley, so I drank it all in!

Paul got rather annoyed with my constant stopping in the middle of the sidewalk, head craned upwards with my camera jammed to my eye, but here are some of the buildings that I enjoyed walking past.  (If buildings bore you, scroll down, there's a bit more text below.)

This is part of the panoramic view of the city skyline from The Lighthouse, the reclaimed former "Glasgow Herald" offices.   Glasgow's favored architectural son, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, was a part of the original design team in 1895.  The building now houses Scotland's Centre for Architecture, Design, and the City.  Each floor offers a different exhibition, from teen architecture study/design groups to a small history of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, but the real highlight is the "lighthouse", so called because of it's resemblance, not purpose.  There is a set of dizzying spiral stairs climbing up to the balcony, but, as with most city skylines, the view is worth it.    We also ate lunch at the Willow Tea Rooms, originally designed by Mackintosh in the early 20th century.  The original rooms were recreated on site in 1996, and while the design isn't my taste the food (and tea!) was great.
One highlight of the visit for both of us was the People's Palace.  Located on Glasgow Green, a nice park area along the riverside, it is a social history museum concentrating on Glasgow's history specifically.   Displays including actual items, recreated rooms, photographs, and audio readings of contemporary journals are gathered together to educate and enlighten the visitors.  It'd be worth the visit even if it wasn't free (it is)!

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