The morning started foggy and cold but by 10:00 was full sunshine with clear blue skies (I think we’ve only had two days with rain since we arrived). We were on the streets early looking for a breakfast spot and found the perfect place at the i-café on Sauchiehall Street- really good pancakes and strong coffee…ready now for six hours of city walking.
First stop, the Glasgow City Chambers at Royal Exchange Square. We timed it perfectly for the 10:30 free tour of this magnificent building with is four stories of Italian marble, gold leaf covered carvings, Wedgewood ceilings, mosaic tiled walls and painted murals. Dating back to 1889 and officially opened by Queen Victoria, it had a construction budget of 150,000 pounds but came in at more than 600,000 pounds and today would cost an estimated 40 million pounds. it is absolutely magnificent in every way. Best of all, admission and the tour is…free!
From there we made our way to Glasgow Cathedral in the north east of the city to view the magnificent windows. This cathedral, like many others we have visited, is a historic museum and also free to the public. This one in particular has fascinating catacombs under the cathedral filled with ancient treasures all well marked for a self-guided tour. Next to the cathedral, are the burial grounds called ‘The Necropolis’. High on a hill, one gets a sweeping panorama of Glasgow while enjoying centuries old monuments to the city’s famous and less-famous dead.
From the necropolis, we made our way south to Glasgow Green to see the People’s Palace, a one acre glass conservatory filled with plants and trees that the people of Glasgow can enjoy all year round. Also on site is a museum of the history of Glasgow, the Nelson Monument (love that) and the Doulton Fountain dedicated to the four continents that Great Britain colonized in the 1800’s, i.e. the British Commonwealth: Australia, India, South Africa and Canada.
Time to start heading back toward our hotel, we strolled along the pedestrian-only shopping district of Argyle and Buchannan Streets (known as the Style Mile) passing notable landmarks like the Clock Tower and Central Station along the way. Thousands (mostly a young crowd) milled about on this very cosmopolitan part of the city. What good fun we had people watching while strolling along.
Dinner was terrific at ‘Thairiffic’ restaurant just a block from our hotel. And finally we retired to our room for a nightcap of Bushmills Whiskey (we had bought two drams a week ago on the Causeway Coast) which went wonderfully with Irish Whiskey Chocolate. That’s a perfect end to a perfect vacation. Tomorrow we are homeward bound for New Brunswick. Thanks everyone for coming along with us on this trip of a lifetime. Slán.