Seeing as how I've already taken the photographs and walked the rest of this post I thought I'd keep all of Glasgow's attractions together for any visitors coming to the city to look up. I was asked yesterday by my sister to look up the best Edinburgh attractions for some Australian friends she has who are visiting soon for a few days in the Capital and was struck by the difference between the two cities. Don't get me wrong, I love Edinburgh and I'm through that way all the time. Arthur's Seat, The Hermitage and Blackford Hill, the history and the landscape are world class and free .I've done quite a few posts out that way already. Surprisingly, this is the first collection about Glasgow city centre and its attractions for the tourist.
The main difference I was struck by was the price.
Edinburgh castle.£15 pounds to get in (adult prices).Mary Kings Close £12 pounds (worth it though)Dynamic Earth £12 pounds. Edinburgh Dungeon £16 pounds. Edinburgh Zoo £12 pounds. The list goes on.
A average family group of two adults two children could easily fork out over a £100 pounds during a days sightseeing. .Edinburgh for its size is probably richer than Glasgow these days....I can see why. Hence this timely triptych on Glasgow's mainly free assortment box of attractions.
The University of Strathclyde Is Scotland's third largest University, also one of the oldest founded in 1796 Its a right mish mash of old and new buildings though. Some very old and regal but a lot like here typical late 1950,s 1960s bold slabs of concrete and glass. I must admit I quite like the contrast. Like walking though a Thunderbird's set or a Tomorrows world idea of what our future would look like.
I remember a while ago seeing a University of Strathclyde white van with its black lettering proudly initialled on its sides.It was parked just off Byres road, An enemy stronghold popular with nearby University of Glasgow students.
Underneath someone had added a wry comment with a finger on the winter dust that coats vehicles in the space of a day's driving here." Bollocks! Yer still just a jumped up Poly!" ( Short for poly technical college I presume) Hopefully done by a student and not a U of G rival professor. I must admit it made me laugh.
They also used to call all the Strathclyde guys and gals "The techies" in dismissive fashion but now that there is a third city centre rival in the nearby Caledonian University that phrase is dying out.(Where are all these brainy people coming from, I cant keep up! What are they feeding them these days!)
I must admit, never having walked along here before, the little white signs..." this way to campus village" conjured up images of Scottish versions of Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley sitting beside rose covered terraces happily chatting on the lawn about pop bands and fit teachers.
It was a warm autumnal day and I'd recently watched the excellent and heart-breaking film that is .. Never let me go.
(a five hankie job ladies... even stone hearted me had to brush a bit of man grit from my eyes at the end )
Anyway.. warm sunshine... blue skies....rows of student live in apartments....not a soul around. Zilch. Not even a Carry oot Hooligan or Vera Swerveawayfromme anywhere in sight. As a guy with both eyes, a pulse and most of my own teeth I was really disappointed. Beastly bad luck once again!
Maybe that was why Glasgow Cathedral survived intact when so much else in Scotland was destroyed during the dark days of the reformation in the 1560,s when rampaging mobs were held at bay repeatedly by an armed ring of citizens intent on protecting it from harm. It's supposed to stand on the site of St Mungo's original church.
The Museum is a reconstruction built in keeping with its surroundings. A Bishop's Palace or Castle used to stand near here until the ruins were levelled to make way for the foundations of the Royal Infirmary, now looking itself like an ancient relic of the past but still serving the inhabitants of Glasgow's east end and northern Suburbs as a busy city hospital.
St Mungo's is a modern phoenix therefore, risen anew to take its place. All three are free entry, Glasgow having the donation,s box approach where before or after your visit ,if you wish ,you can place what you feel is appropriate for upkeep and maintenance.(No silver buttons or washers please no matter how shiny they be.)
All three buildings are worth a visit then its time (in daylight only if you want to keep your hair and trousers) to walk up the hill to the Necropolis, The Oldest burial Ground in the city and a shrine to the great, good, bad and famous figures of the past.
The stone spire seen in the above photograph is Nelson's Monument standing in the heart of the park. 44 metres high it was the first in Britain to be built to mark Nelson's Victories. Work started around 1806-7 funded by public subscription from Glasgow's proud citizens. At that time the city could lay claim to a lot of firsts just like oil rich Dubai today has some of the biggest, boldest and tallest buildings in the world.
Extra Addition. (While looking up a list of links to a half remembered but excellent book of Nigel Tranter's on the birth and early life of St Mungo I wandered onto this amazing site. The early history of Scotland starting from the first dark age inhabitants of Drumchapel. This is the real deal in information terms. What a joy to discover such a wonderful window into our dim and distant past. Stick your X factor and plastic celebrities where the sun don't shine! A shark that swam in a sea where Glasgow now stands, its ribs uncovered and its story told in a suburban street in modern Bearsden. Now that,s worth a mouse click. The Idea that King Arthur may have come from The stronghold of Dumbarton Rock instead of Wales or England has been proposed several times. Scotland has more links to an Arthurian legend than anywhere else in the UK in terms of ancient place names alone. Camelon, (a round tower that stood near Falkirk) and Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh. Down countless centuries history has always been changed and rewritten by the victorious nation or the side with the most influence that's altered then eroded the past. Even 19th and 20th century descriptions of Polar exploration and new discovery show the record books are not always to be trusted. The person who did the deed or discovered it first is not always the one who gets remembered.