Tuesday, July 27
Our last day in Glasgow. :( We have decided against a trip up to Loch Lomond, The bus/train ride would take up the whole day, and there are a few last things I wanted to see in Glasgow. Had we not lost Friday, we would have had time.
We decided to break out of our box and have breakfast someplace that offers a little more Scottish. We had picked out a place on our way back to the hotel the day before, and arrive there at 9:10am. Only to find it doesn’t open until 10! Hungry we continue down Sauchiehall Street and find a cute family bakery (Bradford’s) that boasts a restaurant upstairs. By the yummy sugar donuts in the window, I’m sold and we go in. Bradford’s is small and quaint. The menu offers a lot but I settle on a cup of tea and a fresh sugar donut. Geoff orders the simple breakfast, which is porridge, croissant, juice and tea. We have the whole place to ourselves, and our server has the cutest accent. She’s an older lady, but give anyone a Scottish accent, they become cute. Leaving the store, we drool over all the pastries. There are some beautiful wedding cakes, but the thing that sticks out is the pancakes in the front window. How fresh are those pancakes? Does seeing pancakes in the front window make you think, “Mmm, I could sure go for some flapjacks”?
We hoof it up to the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Art, which is the farthest we’ve walked. It’s quite a distance from where we’ve been spending most of our days. I really wanted to see it, as it sounded intriguing. It’s in a part of town called Cathedral Square. This is where I tell you I can’t show you how beautiful it is, because I forgot the camera at the hotel. When I realized I had left it behind, I decided not to turn around. I was feeling cranky, I wanted breakfast. My apologies. The first thing we see is the museum, with the Glasgow Cathedral in the background. Across from St. Mungo’s is Glasgow’s oldest house. We admired it briefly, before we enter the museum. It’s housed in a very old stone building. The first floor contains art, representing a variety of religious beliefs. The highlight is clearly the Salvador Dali painting called Christ of St. John of the Cross. You can’t help feeling drawn it. It was vandalized a few years ago, and it has been repaired, but you can see where it’s been damaged. Almost like there is someone protecting the painting, the portion of the painting which features Jesus Christ has not been touched. It isn’t the only artifact that has been damaged, there is a statue of Vishnu that is now incased in glass. I did read something about on the pieces of art that made me say (A little too loudly) “who the heck believes that?” It claimed it was a common Christian belief, and I realized maybe they are talking about something Catholics hold true. But I certainly do not. Geoff kindly tells me to keep those comments to myself, this is not the place to argue religion. I am resigned to think that people are not coming here to get their facts on Christianity, it’s just to appreciated art. We proceed to the next floor, which features items that are used in different religions. For example, they have canopic jars (Egypt), a menorah (Judaism), as well as photos of customs and celebrations. Most of the windows on both floors are stained glass featuring Christian and Catholic saints. The Third floor offers a fabulous view of Necropolis, a beautiful cemetery. We don’t venture out there, but it’s wonderful to admire from the third floor. The third floor also offers pictures of Glasgwegians celebrating different holidays. Naturally there is a St. Mungo’s Day. I’ll get to who St. Mungo is once we get over to the Glasgow Cathedral, which is our next stop. Before we leave we stop in the gift shop, and Geoff buys a small copy of the Dali painting we were smitten with.
Glasgow Cathedral. This is the oldest building I think I’ve ever been inside. It’s a pre-Reformation cathedral, which I think means it was completed before the 16th century. There will be a concert that night, so there is someone practicing on the pipe organ. It really adds to the atmosphere. I don’t know if you can describe the solemnity of the building, and it’s old beauty. The walls are covered in engravings of soldiers and priests who have passed on. All the windows are stained glass of biblical characters. It gives off a feeling of peace. On the floor below, there is the tomb of St. Mungo. St. Mungo is the patron saint of Glasgow. The Glasgow coat of arms features a tree, a bell, 2 fish and a bird. These represent miracles St. Mungo performed. The town’s motto, Let Glasgow Flourish comes from a sermon he preached in which he said “Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word”. The cathedral has yet another lower floor which houses a lower church, and a Blackadder aisle. You can see pictures at glasgowcathedral.org.uk.
We’ve completed looking around the cathedral so decide to head back towards Merchant City to find a place to eat lunch. We nearly went to the Willow Tea Room, but it was packed and we didn’t want to wait. We settle on a small café. The food isn’t as good, I again have a cheese sandwich, which isn’t as good as the Willow Tea Room. Geoff has an egg salad sandwich that he enjoys, and then finishes off my sandwich. We go souvenir shopping, then decide to take a ride on The Pride O’ The Clyde. It’s a perfect day to take a trip down the Clyde, and I can’t help but sing in my head Song Of The Clyde by Kenneth McKellar. We sit on the top deck and get a history of the Clyde river, and the buildings we pass. We pass by our hotel, and he points it out as being one of the newer hotels in Glasgow. The trip takes 30 minutes, and deposits us in Braehead. There is huge mall there and what looks like a very small version of Klondike Days. It has a version of the rainbow ride, and the thought of carnies with cute Scottish accents is humorous to me. We have an hour to kill before we can catch the next boat back, so w check out the mall. It’s a pretty decent sized mall, over a hundred stores, and even some fast food places we recognize. A few blocks away is an IKEA, which annoys us because Braehead has one, and Colorado does not. Inside the mall, we treat ourselves to Baskin Robbins, then we take a look around Marks & Spencer. Geoff affectionately calls this place Marks & Sparks, and assures me Grandma Bessie used to love this store. It’s a cute department store, and we make our way into the grocery section. I want to get some munchies, ideally for the plane ride home, or for that evening. I settle on a 2 pack bag of cheesy popcorn for £1, and Geoff treats himself to a bottle of Marks & Sparks marmalade. We head back to wait for the boat, and just sit on a bench watching the water float by. Once the boat arrives, we decide to sit downstairs at a table, and I have to talk Geoff out of having tea. He’s out of control! He points out a group of restaurants just across the river and down a ways from the City Inn he wants to try to check out for dinner. After departing the boat, we walk along the bike path beside the Clyde to our hotel. It seems a faster walk than we have been taking. Upon returning to the room, I settle in for a short nap before dinner, and Geoff watches some television. An hour later, I’m awake and we take off to look for food. The walk is a little farther than Geoff anticipated, but it isn’t unbearable. There are 3 restaurants, and we settle on the third. It offers something that we both can agree upon. Brewers Fayre is a little like Chili’s if Chili’s served British food. Geoff enthusiastically orders steak and kidney pie, and I choose the summer platter. It has chicken strips, corn on the cob, chicken wings, salad, and fries (of course I get a side of gravy). This is hands down my favorite meal on the whole trip. Geoff loves his meal, and laments missing his mom’s cooking. Our table looks out over the Clyde, and I say aloud how much I’m going to miss looking at this river. It isn’t much different than the North Saskatchewan, except it’s deeper, and it leads to the ocean. I’m completely stuffed, but Geoff has room for dessert. I watch as he eats this toffee & ice cream concoction, which he swears is fabulous. We finish our meal, sad that we took so long to find such a place. We go back to the hotel and watch some tv. Tomorrow we head back home.