Our final day in Scotland was a denouement of sorts: a wrapping-up of a long, convoluted and exciting adventure around the country. It was a brief respite before heading home, a short rest after a long journey, a small sampling of the “Second City of the Empire” (as Glasgow was once known). It was decidedly not a full exploration of the city; I’m not sure we can say we truly “did” Glasgow.
Not for lack of trying; we had our longest day of walking yet, nearly 20,000 steps (seven-plus miles, and Molly walked every step with us). But unlike Edinburgh with its compact historical center and Royal Mile, Glasgow is spread out and sprawling. We’re staying in Merchant City, the very happening heart of the City Centre, but Glasgow’s cultural attractions are scattered all about the city.
We did manage some highlights, however, including perhaps the oldest: the Glasgow Cathedral, dedicated way back in 1136.
We weren’t on the hunt for more pop-cultural Outlander attractions, but we stumbled upon a tiny chapel within the cathedral where some scenes from the show were filmed (Claire’s convalescence in France)—a small bit of trivia likely of interest only to fans of the show.
“Out back” behind the cathedral is the Necropolis, a sprawling cemetery to rival other cities of the dead like Paris’ Pere Lachaise and the Bronx’ Woodlawn. It was created during the Victorian Age, when Glasgow industries minted a whole new crop of wealthy Glaswegians, and the opulence of their final resting places shows off that wealth.
Next, we went to the Riverside Museum, which (due to the city sprawl described above) required a subway ride—always fun to try out in a new city.
If you see something, say something
The Riverside Museum houses the Glasgow Museum of Transport, which we’d read from many sources was a great place for kids and an interesting institution in its own right. Those recommendations were on the nose; it was quite a cool place.
The museum housed examples of every type of transport imaginable, from prams and bicycles to double-decker buses and a locomotive—and an entire wall of cars.
It even included a faux main street, with storefronts containing a variety of interactive exhibits. It reminded me of Disneyland and Cassie of Las Vegas (read into that what you will).
One final observation about Glasgow: like Reykjavik in Iceland, the city seems to have very much bought into the idea of public art, a movement I wish more cities would adopt. We came across many murals splashed across the sides of buildings.
And that, dear readers, is my final dispatch from abroad—we head for the airport first thing in the morning. Thanks for coming along for the ride. I hope my words at least in some part brought the journey alive for you. Slàinte mhath!