I learnt early when traveling to include breakfast in my booking, so that I start my day fe and full for whatever eventuates, and don’t need to eat as much letter either. Breakfast in the hotel this morning was a good way to start the day, and I was grateful for this learning.
I nailed the Glasgow subway system straight away and made my way to the ‘west end’ and to Kelvingrove Museum and Gallery. I tried to explore as much as I could, and while I enjoyed the Dutch art as I usually do, I was a bit bored, and finally just went to do what I had come for- to see the Dali!!
On my first attempt the small room was squashed full, so I went off and came back. Twenty minutes later, I was able to sit all on my own for about five minutes, just looking, absorbing and taking it in. It truly is beyond words, and in full size it’s impact is more fully realised. It was finally time to give up the bench when other came in, but watch the video and reading all the info was incredible- I didn’t know any of its controversial history and loved learning about it. The print that hangs in my office will now have even more significance to me. I did also by a post card and magnet of it too though!
I left the gallery soon after and made my way back to central Glasgow. I decided it was time to try traditional fish and chips. I went somewhere busy(as that’s usually a good sign from the locals), but I have reached the immense conclusion that us Aussies have taken the idea of ‘Fish and Chips’ to a whole new, LOTS better level. Cause fish and chips here sux!
After my short lunch break in my hotel room (to also charge my phone a little bit more) I went out again. This time I was in search of shoelaces for my runners, as the old ones finally died. The obvious place to find them in my mind was “Poundland”- Scotland’s answer to the $2 shop! But alas, no such luck, nor in any other place I could think to look until I desperately went into Foot Locker! They had the biggest variety of laces I’ve ever seen, and I was very grateful my search was complete.
I didn’t know what else to do with myself. I went to the station to collect my train tickets for tomorrow, and then tried to recall suggestions from Iona locals. They had said the Cathedral was amazing, and given i was over the right so of the city, I figured I may as well. It was still about a 25 minute walk though, and in the heat of the day I was a bit buggered when I got there. Another church with scaffolding, I’m guessing its about to get a clean, cause the signs of time and industry have had their impact. I found my way around the entrance, and walked into the back area of the church- now a huge open space used for welcoming (and tourism). But if one word describes it, it’s Immense! Just ridiculously large and grand, as most cathedrals are I guess, but with no pews in this section it made a giant difference. At the screen, there were downward stairs on both sides. The unique thing about this church is that is has an upper and a lower church- one on top of the other! Wow! The lower church has the altar and tomb of St Mungo, after whom the church is named. My reference for St Mungo is Harry Potter, so I really should learn more about him. The lower church also had four small chapels along the back wall, each unique, and some beautiful windows too. It was quite a strange space in many ways, but it was a humble and simple space, and I liked it. Back upstairs the space is much more grand and formal, as expected I guess. And it is also a place where a few people still claim ownership of their pew. The majority have a nice welcome sign on them, but about a dozen had a specific list of names. Not sure how I feel about it actually- not a fan though. Overall, Yes, its a beautiful church, but not sure i could worship there.
Behind the Church I could see a hill. Not sure of its specific name, but its clearly got mausoleums and grave built into its sides and on top. Would be fascinating to explore, but no way was a walking any further. That being said though, as I was leaving I caught a glimpse of the sign into the building on the edge of the complex. “St Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art”. Well, that sucked me in, and in I went. While the top level exhibits various exhibitions about religious life in Glasgow, the middle level is the space for ‘Religious Life and Art’. Initially, its like any gallery, exhibiting art from all the major and minor religions around the world, including Australian indigenous art! Everything was included in some way, and while a small collection, it was powerful to see it all together, but then I moved into the other space.
It was a simply designed as a large oval, with an inner and outer display. The inner display was an exploration of each of the worlds major religions, with symbols, clothing, and various things from each. The outer circle moved through the stages and events of life and history, and explored how various religions and cultures honour, celebrate and recall those times. I was almost in tears of joy and inspiration! At the end was a beautiful signed document by all the leaders of the various churches and religions of Glasgow in 2002, in sponsor to September 11, which had obviously inspired the creation of this exhibition. I know it would loose its impact if they were everywhere, but I couldn’t help but think there should be more places that so obviously bring the faiths together in such a thoughtful, meaningful way. It’s definitely something we can learn a lot from.
With my feet struggling, I caught a bus back into town, and means able to Skype with Daniel for the first time in over a week. So wonderful!!
I’ve just got back from having dinner now. I needed to sit down for some decent food after a lack lustre dinner last night and lunch today. I didn’t know what I felt like, so I went wandering. I found a TGI Fridays 🙂 not original, but reliable. But also a half hour wait for a table, so I put my name on the list and found a bar to have a drink while I waited. The luxury of being on holidays, and drinks being so cheap. While its annoying that all the shops in town close so early every night, it does lead to an interesting phenomenon- places that just seems to be doorways emerge with tables, chairs and employees to create bars on the walkways (on the mall). Very cool actually, and by the time I was heading home back the mall had also become a dance floor.
TGI’s was yummy, and I’m ready to declare that my favourite cocktails now a mojito, and I must learn how to make them. Now I’m back in my hotel Rome, which is hot and stuffy, and I can do very little to drown out the bad karaoke coming from the bar down the street. I guess I could go ion them to improve the standard a little, but that doesn’t seem appealing given my tiredness and my early start tomorrow. Looking forward to getting to Church, and then heading to Edinburgh and onto London.