Day Two - Glasgow - Riverside Museum of Transport & Kelvingrove Art Museum   

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On the first morning waking up in Scotland, we enjoyed a classic UK breakfast, an impressive meal.

On 9 of 16 nights we stayed at B&Bs or Pubs w/rooms, and at every one we were served an excellent breakfast, for us, around 8 am. This must be one of the top QOL aspects of visiting the UK & Ireland. For travelers, it's an excellent start to a day out exploring.   

We drove to a Park & Ride, then took a City bus to the Stirling ScotRail station, where we had to run up & down stairs to catch the departing train to Glasgow, 45 minutes away, mostly through open farmland.   

At 10 am we emerged from Queen Street High Station. Across the street is George Square, an open-space City block, with a statue of English King George IV, the first British King to visit Scotland, in 1822, as well as statues of Robert Burns & Sir Walter Scott (who facilitated that Royal visit). 

This is the political & economic center of Glasgow and traditional black Cabs were lined up 14 deep. 

Following a brief ATM stop, we took one to the Riverside Museum of Transport, on River Clyde. The Museum opened in 2012, and won the EU Museum of the Year Award in 2013. 

map of Glasgow sights


Once at the Museum we went to the cafe, which had a great view of the River Clyde, and an 1800s Schooner was parked there. We had coffee or other things before checking out this vast, but condensed, Museum collection. To conserve floor space, many exhibits are stacked up.

Generally speaking, a person could probably spend four hours here, if they read each of the displays. 

The Museum reveals Glasgow's legacy as a major shipbuilding hub, and as a major participant in the Industrial Revolution (along with Liverpool, Manchester & Birmingham, in England). This is where modern heavy industry was born, as well as modern air emissions (pollution), since it is usually wood or charcoal or coal, which is the energy input for a steam engine. Glasgow early on achieved "legendary" levels of pollution.

The steam engine was invented and refined in Glasgow. You can imagine how it changed the world of international shipping, with less reliance on rigging & sails, and favorable winds, leading to shorter travel time, and fewer lives lost on long voyages, due to scurvy or other conditions. This was an amazing improvement in ocean-going technology (impacting train engines, too).  

The dockside Schooner was a commodities trading ship that was built in Glasgow in the 1880s. It often sailed to Portland, Oregon or to Australia, all rigging & sails for 40 or more trips through the treacherous Drake Passage, an admirable accomplishment. 

Later it did service in the Spanish Navy.  Restoration of this attractive ship was funded by the overall Museum project.    

Architectural note: this Museum was designed by the late Dame Zada Hadid (1950-2016), an Iraqi-Brit who was the most highly-decorated woman Architect in UK history. Her Wikipedia page, showing samples of other buildings she designed, is worth a look.        

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.

George's Square River Clyde washing the window.... Riverside Museum of Transport
  1880's Schooner, built in Glasgow global traveler w/ a fortuitous history autos
wider view of autos the history of motorcycles... nostalgia scenes of Old Glasgow
    River Clyde today or yesterday.....  
a child showing a younger child the sights Glasgow was a ship building City for decades  
    trains, too steam engine history  
looks like early stainless steel revolutionary!


The uphill walk from the Riverside Museum to the Kelvingrove Art Museum took about 20 minutes. Being near the Univ. of Glasgow meant that we were passing apartments and dorms, with students coming & going. 

Once at the Museum, we split up, my wife & I heading to the Charles Renee Mackintosh Arts & Crafts section. After that we wandered through the general European collections, such as Dutch masters or Impressionists, and then came across a British Spitfire. 

A war machine in an art Museum ? Quite possibly, it's here out of general public good will and reverence for the role the Spitfire played in defeating the Luftwaffe and winning The Battle of Britain, having read a book about that right before the trip. I was impressed at the plane's compact size & elegant geometry.   

R & L enjoyed seeing a special exhibit of Linda McCartney's photographs, most taken when The Beatles were in ascendancy, and British Rock was expanding. Linda M. was an accomplished black & white photographer of people, on her own. Later on she married Paul McCarthy and became part of the band. 

Just before the UK trip, R&L had attended two separate Bay Area concerts with Paul McCartney's Band, or, Ringo Starr's Band, the two remaining Beatles. 

They also saw the Mackintosh section and other parts of the Museum, and may have seen some Scottish landscapes, which we missed.

River Kelvin towards the University of Glasgow ahead is the Hunterian Museum but we're going to the Kelvingrove
  another look main entrance an impressive  building
a mighty organ Queen Victoria attended the Museum's 1901  opening heads exhibit French women impressionist painters
Mary Cassatt is probably the best known into the Arts & Crafts display   Chas. Renee Mackintosh furniture
an unrecognized artist in his lifetime

< interesting pair and their home >

her skin like cracked alabaster "Music", by Glaswegian David Gauld, 1891
  museum light British Spitfire Linda McCartney (formerly Eastman)  
early Beatles photo by her   Kelvingrove Park incredible architecture
back at Queen St. High Station

The Kelvingrove Museum opened in 1901, as part of Glasgow's International Exhibition. Architecturally, the building style is Spanish Romanesque, modeled on the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, Spain, which is the burial place of Christian Apostle James, and, a Catholic pilgrimage destination since the middle ages. (There days, it might be an uber-pilgrimage.)           

The Museum called us a cab, and we passed through still-fashionable & attractive Victorian style West End neighborhoods, before heading downhill to center city & Queen Station. 

Trains to Stirling run every fifteen minutes on day shift, and we were on the next one. ScotRail trains seemed very smooth & comfortable, and cruise up to about 80 mph.        

Back in Stirling we had another early dinner, this time at The Inn at Torbrex, in an old neighborhood just below the Castle. A display stated that for many years, the Inn was an overnight stop on one of the main roads from the south.  

The haggis option, which Rich ordered & I sampled, was easy to like, with a deep-fried aspect. I didn't order it for myself because I was trying to adhere to a vegetarian diet, obviously, with varying degrees of success.   

Later, back at the B&B, while our wives were upstairs, settling in, and no doubt gainfully employed, Rich & I were downstairs, enjoying some red wine & banter with the B&B owner-husband, who turned out to be a naturally funny guy, and an atmosphere of general mirth ensued. 

We compared notes on the kinds of music we liked, or, which impressive musical artists we had seen in concert, over the decades, and found some common ground. 

I brought up the subject of Scottish bagpipe music, and the owner instantly said "Hey, I'm 100% Scottish, but I can't stand that %@# droning sound."     

Once again, the tourists turned in early. 

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