Hop On – Hop Off, Glasgow – 1st June 2022

We had all done our own separate research about what to see and do in Glasgow and we all came up with the same answers – not a lot! If you google the top 10 things to do in Glasgow, you will find eight of them are outside of the city. We even sought the help of our good Glaswegian friend Owen who lives in Sydney, Australia and we pretty much got the same reply.

As would have it, we had to contact the HSBC UK call center prior to leaving Calgary as we were searching for our replacement visa cards and we came across Brian on the help desk who was in Glasgow. We also asked Brian, and once again it was about what was outside of Glasgow. So you can see why were a little perplexed as to what to do on our visit here.

Marlene came up with the bright idea of doing a hop on – hop off bus tour of the city and as would have it, we had a brilliant day.

Our first hop off spot was at the University of Glasgow. Quite the collection of very ornate old buildings that just reeked of history. Not surprising considering that there had been a university on the grounds since 1451. Our primary reason for coming here was to see the cloisters (also known as the Undercroft) which if you are a fan of Outlander, will recognise it from the series.

The quadrangle outside the cloisters and don’t forget DO NOT to walk on the grass.

The multifaith church in the grounds of the uni where a chap was practising for his organ recital later in the afternoon. The sound went deep down into your bones and made you tremble inside. He was playing very gothic, morose music but we reckon if you threw in a bit of Phantom of the Opera, it would be surreal and very moving.

Next we cruised around the city centre and came across even more old structures which all seemed to have a bit of an unkept look about them. Scotland’s population is about 5 million which puts it on par with New Zealand’s. Scotland’s disadvantage is that it has very old infrastructure and buildings which are costly to maintain. They are unable to pull stuff down unless it is unsafe, and hence they are constantly fighting the ravages of time. Whereas New Zealand really doesn’t have anything historic to preserve which makes it cheaper to rip it down and rebuild.

Some more of the university buildings. It was exam time so not a lot of students milling around. You could imagine them using this place for film sets like Harry Potter.

Doulton Fountain in one of the main parks which was donated by Sir Mr Royal Doulton himself. This was one of the most popular attractions at the 1888 International Exhibition  which attracted over 5.7m visitors.

Agh, now this little beauty. We saw a similar statue in Edinburgh wearing this fashionable head attire and were informed that it is a Scottish tradition to dress up their famous in this manner. A quote from an article in a Glasgow paper that you might enjoy.

“Glasgow council has ended plans to stop pranksters placing traffic cones on top of a statue of the Duke of Wellington. It’s part of a long tradition of statue tomfoolery. The placing of traffic cones on historic statues can be blamed on two factors – alcohol and the prevalence of roadworks of some kind in city centres.”

Off next to the transport museum which was a bit confronting, as there were a number of items on display which were from our childhoods.

This is for our friend Patti in Calgary who Di always referred to her workstation as The Tardus as she could never get over what Patti use to squirrel away in there. Patti, a real police box. These use to be all over the UK but this is the first time we have seen one.

Last but not least, a quite visit to the Botannical Gardens. Unfortunately, the entrance to the glass house was closed by the time we got there. A very tiring, rewarding and productive day.

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