Kirky To Glasgow – 31st May 2022

A very rude awakening this morning at the ungodly hour of 6.00am courtesy of one vengeful swan family. Mum, dad and five ankle biters decided they didn’t want us around their territory any longer so began banging their beaks on the side of the hull where our bedrooms are.

It isn’t that unusual, as they go along the water line of the boat picking off the algae that has accumulated, except with this crowd it was more to piss us off. As the video demonstrates, they were knocking well above the water line. We have also had them in the past when they have tapped on the window in the kitchen begging for food. Though in this case it was only along the area where our bedrooms were.

We got up a couple of times to shoo them away but as soon as we went back inside, they all just reappeared and started up the tapping. Inside the boat it sounds a lot louder due to the steel hull. We had no chance of going back to sleep.

We are a little concerned about our return trip, as we have no choice but to stay in Kirky (Kirkintilloch) overnight. Our saga will be continued on the morning of the 3rd June – ugh!!!

We had another hire boat join us for the day going into Glasgow. It was a 14 foot wide barge being piloted by a group of Swedish who we have nicknamed the Vikings. We have been keeping ourselves entertained by saying very disparaging things about the Vikings coming to rape and pillage the Glaswegians – canal humour.

First port of call in the city was to see the City Chambers.

During Glasgow’s days of being a shipbuilding goliath, expensive and a plethora of large stone buildings were erected. An example of the wealth, is the interior of the City Chambers which included extensive roof and floor mosaics and the enormous use of marble.

Shipbuilding on Clydeside (the river Clyde through Glasgow and other points) began when the first small yards were opened in 1712 at the Scott family’s shipyard at Greenock.

After 1860 the Clydeside shipyards specialised in steamships made of iron (after 1870, made of steel), which rapidly replaced the wooden sailing vessels of both the merchant fleets and the battle fleets of the world. It became the world’s pre-eminent shipbuilding centre. Clydebuilt became an industry benchmark of quality, and the river’s shipyards were given contracts for warships.

Not quite sure what we were expecting of Glasgow on our trip into the city center but we were all gobsmacked by the quality and quantity of buildings dating back to the 1800’s.

Since the 1980s, Glasgow has been rebuilding both its image and its architecture. The City Council began a programme of sandblasting the decades of soot and grime from the city’s many tenements and municipal buildings, revealing their magnificent Victorian stonework. 

The main railway station is certainly no representation of the good old architecture in the rest of the city but we felt it was worth a mention purely because of it’s size.

We didn’t have big plans today except to scope out the center of the city and see the Town Hall and the pedestrian zones. Tomorrow we embark on a full day hop on hop off excursion but not before we all head to bed early due to a rude awakening by the swans from hell.

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