Mrs L was definitely the tourist today. The Glasgow City Hop On-Hop Off sightseeing bus comes highly recommended and is also something Mrs L likes to do when she visits a new city.
The first challenge was to find a dry seat on the upstairs open top section – although warm and sunny the seats had not yet had a chance to dry off as it was only 9.30a.m. Glasgow has a long and fascinating history. St Mungo’s is the patron saint; tobacco, shipbuilding, mining, weaving and textiles were once Glasgow’s main industries. There were once 62 shipyards on the Clyde, now only 3 are left. The old Glaswegian industries have been replaced with retail, banking and insurance and are thriving in today’s Glasgow. At its height in the 19th century Glasgow had a population of 1.25 million, today’s population is only 600,000. Glasgow, Liverpool and London were the UK’s 3 major ports but ships sailing from Glasgow could reach the Virginias of the US with 20 days less sailing. Presumably one of the reasons why tobacco was such a key industry to the Glaswegian merchants.
First hop off was at the Riverside Museum, Glasgow’s award-winning transport museum- interesting and well done. It was only later that Mrs L found out there is a Clyde here…….so will have to go back to find him, Clyde hiding again!
Once back on the bus Mrs L decided to stay on for the rest of the tour. Tomorrow she will go back to the area of Glasgow University and Kelvingrove Park, Art Gallery and Museum and explore that area in more detail. The Mackintosh House is at the Hunterian Art Gallery near the University and Mrs L does like all things Mackintosh!
Finally back at George Square at the end of tour and Mrs L decided to walk down to Glasgow Green and the People’s Palace. Well, Glasgow Green was all shut off as preparations were still underway for the Commonwealth estival 2014 – it opened later the same afternoon, Mrs L was just too early. Walking on to the People’s Palace to find that does not open on Mondays – Mrs L really was not having much luck! Fortunately the Winter Gardens were open – a sort of tropical garden in a glasshouse attached to the back of the Palace. A much needed cup of tea and a sandwich refuelled Mrs L for the walk out to Bridgeton Cross for Clyde 4 and then heading back into town to Glasgow Cross for Clyde 13.
The tour had mentioned a place called the Lighthouse in the City centre. The Lighthouse is the renamed conversion of the former offices of the Glasgow Herald newspaper. Completed in 1895, it was designed by the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It is now Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture and was opened in 1999. Mrs L spent a happy 90 minutes here.
There was a gallery dedicated to the work of Mackintosh and his wife Margaret MacDonald, and also a floor with a gallery detailing the regeneration of Dalmarnock, the East End of Glasgow – this is where the athlete’s village is and will eventually provide 700 sustainable homes (400 for rent and 300 to buy) and will be a legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games for Glasgow.
Sue, a Games nurse colleague, and Mrs L met as planned at the Big G in George Square and headed off to the Merchant City quarter for an early supper before going out to Celtic Park for the dress rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony. We had a great evening of which the details are a secret, so nothing to say other than it was a great show. It finished late so not home until 12.30am. and too late to write this blog then!