Uh Oh… It looks like Chicago has been upstaged as my favorite City. Glasgow… Oh wow! An 800-year-old church, free Museums and a river that runs through a 75-acre park.
I live in San Diego so I know parks. Balboa Park has got nothing on Kelvingrove Park. Not withstanding the fact that people just go there to do nothing and have a grand ole time, the park has a duck pond, rose gardens, children’s playgrounds, a bike park, tennis courts, golf holes and miles of other wonders I did not have an opportunity to discover.
I cut across the park everyday of my stay because the park was close by the Kelvingrove Art Museum, which is probably less an art museum than a home for socialist viewpoints. I’m not mad. The exhibit on battered women and the one explaining how religious icons are divisive… they are stories that should be told. In a public museum? No complaints from me because it was free!
Kelvingrove Park was also close to The Hunterian Museum. I saw genuine dinosaur eggs for the first time. I also saw architecture from the Roman era. The museum had columns and pillars and engraved stones perfectly preserved from 300AD. I could not believe my eyes. Glasgow allowed me to see all this for free.
Glasgow Cathedral is 800 years old and is currently a working church. There are medieval symbols everywhere and in the basement there are tombs and inscriptions that prove that the church was built in the 1200’s. Most of the stained glass has been replaced, but the building has great bones (no pun intended). It is gorgeous!
I spent most of my visit taking pictures of buildings. No people pictures for me! My eyes could not believe the beauty. I replaced the batteries in my camera three times! After a thousand pictures, I tried to tell myself that I could not possibly take a picture of every building in city, but I just couldn’t help trying. I’m a lousy photographer, but I know I could never explain just how intricate the designs are on these buildings.
I mentioned that the Museums in Glasgow are free but I have to tell you that again. I paid 11 pounds for a tour bus ticket that took me to all 9 museums and 14 other free attractions. This ticket was good from 9am to 9pm for two full days. Again, in case you missed what I said, I paid for two days of travel to 24 free attractions. I paid no entry fees at all. Since I arrived in Scotland, I paid no tax. Not on food, no restaurants tax. No tax at all. I just couldn’t understand how the government could afford to allow me to see all this wonderful stuff for free.
I did not mention that the Hunterian Museum is on the grounds of the University of Glasgow. Oh my God! What a beautiful place! The Queen’s Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh is not as grand. The campus is so beautiful I’m dreaming of a doctorate just so I can attend this exquisite school. I kept taking picture after picture and I could not stop and I did not want to leave the campus. Then it clicked (again, no pun intended.) I finally understood the thinking of Glasgow’s City Council. I know why everything is free. The council knows how beautiful their city is. Glasgow is showing off! Glasgow City Council members knows I am going to go home and tell everyone I know that they have to come to Scotland and see this incredible city. They know I’m a lousy picture taker. They know I will never be able to describe what I’ve see. But they also know I’m going to share this experience. I’m coming back and I’m bring people with me.