Friday, May 1, 2009

Glasgow I.i

First things first - there are some advertisements here in the UK that make Chuck and me laugh. I would like to share one with you. It's an ad for some Glades product and it cracks me up: Glades Advert. I recommend taking a quick moment to watch it! Now, onto our travels.

We're now in Glasgow. We got here by taking a ferry from Belfast to Stranraer, Scotland, then we took a train up to Glasgow. The train trip was lovely! The countryside is so scenic here in the British Isles, and Scotland has not let us down. We got to see a ton of tiny little lambs frolicking around the fields, keeping near their mothers' sides. I also saw three bunnies, a deer, and a bunch of cattle. Oh, and of course green, rolling hills, bubbling creeks, and quaint stone bridges as well.

Of course, since our train ride into Glasgow was beautiful, sunny, and a bit warm, our first full day in the city was gloomy and overcast. We ended up going to the Kelvingrove Museum on a tip from a fellow traveler we met at our hotel. It turned out to be a pretty good choice as half the museum is dedicated to biology - mainly animals. They had various rooms highlighting different aspects such as prehistoric animals, extinct animals, evolution, etc. The funnest (most fun?) room was filled with taxidermied animals (including a giraffe and an elephant) that are "the biggest such-and-such," "the smallest such-and-such," "can smell the furthest," "swims the slowest," etc. One moth could smell a mate from seven miles away. The most venomous mammal is a platypus. The fastest growing plant is bamboo, growing as much as a meter a day. The slowest is a Lady's Slipper Orchid, taking up to 11 years to blossom. The seahorse is the slowest swimmer at .001 MPH. So there ya go! Some fun facts for ya.

The other half of the museum is art: paintings, busts, vases, dresses, furniture. Unfortunately I'm not so cultured as to be able to find a great interest in "art," but we did wander through and check everything out. I was drawn to one particular painting though: Anna Pavlova by John Lavery. I just liked its vibrance.

The last interesting event of the day was our choice of lunch. We stopped into a chip shop to get our fat-fix of the day and noticed a traditionally Scottish item on the menu called haggis. We couldn't quite remember what was in it, just that we wouldn't want to eat it if we did. So we got the haggis meal which consisted of chips (aka french fries) and a deep fried haggis sausage all traditionally wrapped up in brown paper. We got back to the hotel and unwrapped our strange little package and I gingerly took a bit, bracing for the worst. But it was good! It had a nice...meaty, nutty sort of flavor. Just a well flavored sausage really. After we ate it we looked up the ingredients: ground pig liver, heart, and lungs mixed with oatmeal and various spices. Ewww! Sounds so gross, but it was surprisingly tasty.

The next day, April 27, we had yet another lovely day... complete will dark skies and drizzling rain. But we ventured out despite the weather and ended up at the Glasgow Cathedral. There's nothing particularly special about it in comparison to other cathedrals we've seen - it was just another nice church. It did have one unique feature that we've yet to see: a basement, for lack of a better word. And I think there is a better word, I just don't know it... So it was kind of fun to go down the steps into the dimly lit darkness under the choir of the church to see a circle of chairs all facing towards the center of the stone room where an embroidered blue shroud was lain across an altar of some sort. I could just see some sort of sacrifice taking place down here...hehe. I guess I'm trying to say it had a ritualistic feel. We sat and had a chocolate here. Having chocolates is like a ritual for some people, so I felt it would be appropriate.

After visiting the church we went across the street to the Provand's Lordship. It's an old house from the 1400's or so that has been decorated to look as though it were still being lived in. The furniture throughout is from various time-periods, so it's not strictly 15th century. But it's neat to see even just the architecture. I still find the very low doorways interesting - were they really that short?? Or did they not mind ducking a lot? And I like when I come across an old set of stairs that has been walked on and used so often that it's worn a depression into the stone. Due to the weather we just headed back to the hotel for the rest of the day. So it was a short and sweet one.

No comments:

Post a Comment