Captain’s Log Day 2: Glasgow 2014… and Clowning Around
So welcome back family and friends to the next log installment, where we briefly leave Edinburgh for a rapid train to Glasgow. Why? Because of the Commonwealth Games, of course! It was getting very busy, and it would be very bad to sight-see during the games. That, and we got tickets to an event that night called Perch, an open-air theatre work performed simultaneously in Brasil and Scotland (and also performed in Sydney), about our love of flight and fear of falling. With wires. And harnesses. On the buildings! It was part of Glasgow’s street theatre and clowning festival, so when we saw it and the day, we were like, yes! So off to Glasgow we went!
Glasgow has an artistic reputation, but much work has been done in recent years to revitalize the city and bring that back after years of blight and economic downturn and failed recovery. Glasgow couldn’t shake the even greater gritty, industrial reputation (mining, shipbuilding, etc.) that led to the city’s economic success, or the poverty and crime in her years of woes. Even the soda IRN-BRU was marketed to be flavored by the rust from old ships laid to waste in Glasgow (pronounce it iron brew, get it?). But wit like that and art of all sorts is the positive binder and the slogan du jour is “People Make Glasgow,” which is even super-sized on the art school high-rise. Art abounds.
In classic and modern architecture:
(That last one is a peacock. The whole building is covered in vines, though. Okay fine, I will show you.)
And in theatre:
(Having aerialists up seven or so stories helps any show succeed!)
Although, the first sense of Glasgow’s character came in the Queen Street Station’s Toilets:
Very sci-fi experience.
And, later, in impromptu statements made about Wellington’s horse:
This was outside the Museum of Modern Art. But later that day, before we went to Perch we opted for a coffee, and found that someone had also made a statement about Wellington himself. Fabulous!
We started the day with a self-guided tour of architectural gems but were diverted by the Queen’s Baton Relay. I got a list of the runners, but I do not know which one this is. Many applied, but all those selected have unique heroic stories.
The crowds were not thick, but did follow the runners on their path. The last one got on the subway with it. I have learned that the baton is titanium and elm, with a granite gem and LEDs to light up the sealed parchment message (of luck, best wishes, etc.) from the Queen. It glows, so it is like a flameless Olympic torch, which is fine; the Commonwealth games are second in size for athletic events only to the Summer Olympics (just some perspective). But they are more like friendlies, and the athletes are everywhere. Our flight to Edinburgh was with the St. Lucia team, and we stood in line at Nando’s Peri-Peri with the Canadians.
Adam at the Tenement House
Our architecture walk ended with a trip to Tenement House, which is a bit of a curiosity. It’s a preserved house owned by a lady who was a bit of a pack rat. Not a hoarder, but rather frugal with all her things (although the “oops, there’s a pot of jam from the ’20’s” was rather odd), so there were items from the Victorian era when her mother owned the house on up to the 60’s when the woman died. You have to ring the bell to be let in, so it’s rather just like visiting a kooky aunt with fun “ancient” playthings. But it’s a museum, so, you don’t get to touch them. Darn!
This is a note for Dad: on the train, we noted that the scenery reminded us of driving around up by you, so here is a blurry shot from the train. It’s very pretty rolling countryside in the neck with hills away off. This is a rather narrow part of Scotland. For the history buffs, it’s the general vicinity of the Antonine Wall, the precursor to the better fortified and longer lasting border made by Hadrian’s Wall.
Next time: More Edinburgh, in which we learn why witches float (no I mean really!)