Thursday, October 18, 2012

Scotland - Glasgow

First few days in Glasgow (actually a place called Coatbridge which is just outside Glasgow on the way to Edinburgh) have been spent resting up from Paris and organizing a car. My cousin's son offered me the use of one of their cars but I needed to arrange insurance. One would think that would be an easy task - but after spending one entire day contacting numerous car insurance agencies only to be told they will not give short term insurance to drivers from Australia, Canada or the US - you must have a UK or European driver's license to obtain car insurance or have one year's driving experience in the UK. Seems strange since I can rent car and get insurance. The only answer I got was they are concerned about drivers from these countries getting tickets and leaving the country (I guess people from france or italy do not get tickets), however if you rent a car they have your credit card number. Not sure I buy this explanation but not much I can do - I even called Coast Capital Insurance in Victoria but apparently my car insurance only covers me in Canada and the USA. Needless to say I now have a rental car!

My cousin's son and family are in Turkey this week as it is a school vacation week here - they asked us to stay in their house. They renovate old houses and build new houses and then sell them. These houses are very up market and this one has 5 bedrooms all with ensuites. The decor is absolutely beautiful with every gadget you can possibly think of at your finger tips - I feel like I am staying in one of those designer magazine homes.

Family room - TV pulls out and swivels - gas fire has different scenes including an underwater scene.
One fridge, one freezer, one wine huge chiller
Front hallway



Living room


Office - Effect on walls is from overhead lighting
Ceiling in one of the bathrooms

My bedroom - colors go with my p.j.'s - I love to match!
My bathroom

One son's bedroom in Thomas the Tank theme
Other son's bedroom in nautical theme!
Outer area of master bedroom
Master bedroom
Master bathroom
I won 't mention all the walk in closets, huge playroom on third floor or shoot to laundry room. Needless to say this is a lovely home! It is for sale if anyone is interested!

Today we visited the Glasgow Transport Museum located beside the river Clyde. The museum hosts exhibits of the many different kinds of transportation over the last century.

This was to encourage immigration to Canada - I am sure my flight home will not be this cheap!








Inside of old subway tram
Tram my mother traveled on as a young girl in Glasgow
The River Clyde which use to have major industries on both its banks - giving off much pollution in the air and the river
River Clyde looking towards Glasgow and the newer buildings
Next it was off to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Kelvingrove opened in 1901 as part of the Glasgow international exhibition. During the Second World War most of the art objects were housed in secret locations around the country and in 1941 a bomb landed near the museum and shattered most of the windows. The museum was majorly renovated in 2006 and now houses 8,000 art objects including a real spitfire plane.







Magnificent architecture







Ran into an old friend - queen Victoria
Renoir painting
Van Gogh

Monet - tick off another bucket list item

These paintings were done by three Italian prisoners of war. These were painted on the back of flour sacks.

Painting of Robbie Burns cottage

Floating heads exhibit

Famous Salvador Dali painting - he saw himself as the first artist to paint pictures that would combine science with religious belief, and called this NuclearMysticism.
Next we visited St. Francis church in the middle of Glasgow where my parents were married 61 years ago. Today, in order to preserve the church, it has been transformed into a community centre. However this transformation has been done in such a manner that it can easily be changed back into a church in the future. It really looks more like a cathedral than a church.










Graveyard near church where 250,000 people are buried - this would be 3/4 of the population of the greater Victoria area!







My mother grew up in an area of Glasgow called the Gorbals on the south side of the River Clyde. When I was young if my mother thought I was not telling the truth she use to say 'I didn't come up the Clyde on a bike' - now I understand where the saying came from.

By the late 19th century, the Gorbals had become over-populated and adversely affected by local industrialization. Many people lived there because their jobs provided this home and they could not afford their own. It became widely known as a dangerous slum and was subject to efforts at redevelopment, which contributed to more problems such as homeless people and diseases spreading. In recent decades, some buildings have been demolished for a mixture of market and social housing; others are being refurbished and restored to a higher standard. A mosque is now located where my mum use to live.

My mum lived on the right side of this bridge.

Pub my grandfather visited - apparently quite often!
Back and front view of the former fish market where my mum grew up
Location of former Paddy's Market. Paddy's Market was a historic market in Glasgow. It had been in existence at a variety of locations throughout the city for almost 200 years. The market's name originated with the large numbers of Irish immigrants who came to Scotland in the early 19th century. In its final years, the market had been criticized as being a focus for crime and illegal activity including drug dealing (and the associated crime in stolen goods). Paddy's Market was closed by Glasgow City Council on May 15, 2009, when they took over the lease on the current site from Network Rail. Mum use to say I kept my room like Paddy's Market - now I realize that was not a compliment!

It was very surreal to walk around the area where my mother grew up - I had always known her life growing up was not easy but like she always told me 'heartache breeds character'. She was certainly a character as well as a wise and loving woman- I am so thankful she was such a positive role model and always took the high road!

Downtown Glasgow

Glasgow mortuary used in CSI TV show


Glasgow Cross where hangings took place


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