So on Thursday we went sightseeing. Despite having lived in Glasgow for two years, I still haven't seen all the city has to offer. So instead of going to the same spots that I've been to many times, we went to a couple of places that neither of us had been to before.
First we bought an all-day ticket on the underground. The Glasgow underground, unfortunately, is not the huge network that will take you everywhere that the London version is. It runs in a circle around the city centre, and the cars are all painted orange-- hence it being called "The Clockwork Orange" from time to time. (Haven't seen the movie, don't know if there's any kind of connection.) At our first stop, there was nothing in particular to see, it was just a part of Glasgow we had never been in. So we wandered up and down the street, and went into a couple of charity shops, just for fun.
Stop #2 was for the Tenement House. I have totally forgotten the woman's name who lived there, but after she died, the tenement she lived in was given to the National Trust, and they keep it as it looked at the turn of the century. It is two rooms and a kitchen, meaning there is a bedroom and sitting room. The kitchen and sitting room both have set-in beds at the side, covered by a curtain during the day. This is totally a normal arrangement in the old tenements in Glasgow-- you'll see a room and a kitchen, two rooms and a kitchen, or a single end-- meaning the inhabitants have a kitchen with the set-in bed, a bathroom, and that's it. To people used to the enourmous houses and flats in most of America, it initially sounds cramped, but once in one, you really don't feel like it's small. It's all very nicely arranged, and people generally don't fill their houses with possesions they have no space for. Also at the Tenement House, they have a nice exhibit explaining housing in Glasgow through the centuries.
After leaving Tenement House, we started to walk to the Cathedral, but since we really didn't know exactly where it was, we gave it up and went back to the underground, where we headed for stop #3-- Scotland Street School Museum.
The Scotland Street School was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and as such is a beautiful building. It first opened in 1906, and ran continuously until the 70s, when enrollment was so low there was no point to keeping it open any longer. Fortunately, it was not torn down, and it was opened as a museum of Scottish school life a few years later. This year the building is celebrating its centenary. The displays were really interesting, quite a lot of the school furniture is still there, and I finally learned how many shillings there are in a pound. (Twenty, if anyone was wondering.) Also we had a nice chat with one of the guides-- Glaswegians, and in particular Glaswegians whose job it is to showcase their city-- are very gracious to anyone who shows an interest in their city. And such was the case at the Scotland Street School.
That was all we had time for in the city centre, although we found out later that had we gone to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery we might have seen the Queen, who was also in Glasgow that day.
On the way home, we stopped off to see a friend of mine who I had been trying to see all week. She was on holiday from work, but fortunately for us hadn't gone anywhere, so we were able to catch her at home. It was a short visit however, because we were going to Charlie and Ann's for dinner and another beautiful example of Scottish hospitality.