Scotland 2007

Day 7 - Around the University

weather: sunny with clouds

Print View

Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery, Glasgow
Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery, Glasgow
Since I have my date with my Gaelic-speaking friend set for the afternoon, we decide to stay in the area. We start off by going to the Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery. Admission is free. We don't have enough time for a good look at all the exhibitions, since we're too busy looking at the building itself. After having shot entirely too many pictures, we head North towards the University of Glasgow. We pass through Kelvingrove Park and enjoy the good weather.

Otago Street, Glasgow
Otago Street, Glasgow
The University is an old building, but before having a look we go to a side street to check out a cosy little café. Unfortunately, all terrace seats are already taken, so we opt for the café in the University's visitor centre instead. After slaking our thirsts we head towards the Hunterian Museum, which is situated in the University building. The University sits on a hill slope, so you're never really sure which floor you're on. At least we keep getting confused.

University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow
We pass through an open columned hall that has a feel of an old abbey. The church theme continues as we walk through the museum: oblong rooms with high steel columns and galleries. Stained glass windows all around.

We wish to see the Mackintosh House next, and we learn it's in the Hunterian Art Gallery across the road, so we leave the hallowed halls behind. The Mackintosh House is a recreation of a house Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald lived in. They designed the whole interior themselves. Each room has its own feel, and is a self-contained whole with every detail in place. My favourite room is actually the entrance hall, which is kept in white with shades of dark brown and rushes in the window for the light to play with.

After having visited all the rooms, it's time for me to go, so we split up. I head towards my Gaelic speaking friend's place with map in hand, while my friend heads back towards the University grounds and Kelvingrove Park.

It's always a bit exciting to meet online friends for the first time, since you never really know what to expect. However, after having been greeted with a hearty "Thig a-steach" and being offered tea and ginger biscuits I feel entirely at ease. Although my host does complain about everybody always wanting "normal" tea, what does he have twenty kinds of tea for? I need something to wake me up though, and I keep the interesting tea for later.

After two hours of happily chatting away in Gaelic with some English and German thrown in, I hurry down towards the Gaelic book shop, hoping it would be open until six. I'm out of luck though; it already closed at five, like everything else. It is good I dropped by though, because I note that the shop is only open between ten and twelve on a Saturday, so we can plan around that. On my way back to the B&B I have a peek into the Lismore Pub, which is now definitely on our gotta see list: stained glass windows and rough stonewalls!

I'm a bit early, so I sit down in the breakfast room to do some writing and enjoy the view out the window. After my friend arrives I notice I forgot to ask my Gaelic speaking friend where to get decent bread, since we didn't get around to buying any in Greenock. So, I call him up on my cell phone, but my tentative question, "Càite am faigh mi Schwarzbrot?" only earns well-deserved gales of laughter and general bouts of mirth. OK, I get the idea. Luckily, our landlord knows some shops where we might get organic bread, so we will try one of those.

We decide to have dinner at the Grassroots, which is coupled with an organic food shop. We go to check out the shop first, but it is already closed, so we peek in through the windows trying to discern their selection of bread. All we can see is the empty bread rack - and some people still inside. We would like to know if it's worth our mileage to return during the opening hours, so my friend hits upon the idea of writing a sign. So, we get a piece of paper, write "Do you sell dark bread?" on it, hold it against the window and knock. Our attempt is successful, since a woman comes squinting at the window, unlocks the door and gives us the information we need. We're in luck; they stock all kinds of excellent bread.

With happy smiling faces we head towards the restaurant, only to find all the tables have been reserved. However, we're in luck again and one of the reservations got cancelled, so we get to gorge ourselves on an organic dinner. And the tap water comes with fresh mint in it. The restaurant closes around ten, and we take a random walk back home. We pass by a shop that sells the very lamps that they have in our breakfast room. We have a good laugh at both recognising them instantly!

It is already dark, and our way home leads us through the Park Circus. We keep peeking in through open windows to have a look at everybody's stucco ceilings, one prettier than the other. We stop at a house that seems to be empty, notice the missing roof and the struts keeping the walls together. The night guard says hello and confirms that this is the house that we saw burning in the aerial photograph the night before. Just one week before the building was ready to be moved into, it got ignited by a spark from a blowtorch. Talk about bad luck! We kindly decline his generous offer of the remains of his kebab, being already full, so he decides to leave it for the foxes.

More pictures
Last edited: 4 February 2008 20:55:48