6/17 Teatime and Tombstones

This morning we set off for Glasgow, in which we got to use our Britrail passes for the first time. In the train station before we left, Breanna was taking some pictures and was harassed by a police officer and received a warning ticket. Evidently you aren’t allowed to take pictures in there due to terrorism prevention. It was weird because when I saw her taking pictures I was thinking, “That is a good idea!” I had my hand on my camera in my pocket and was about to start taking pictures as well right when the officer walked up.

The train ride was pleasant, which is good because I will be spending a LOT of time on the train this weekend. I can really see how people in Europe don’t rely on driving their own cars as much because the public transportation is excellent. Plus, gas is way more expensive in Europe than in the US even though we are feeling the pinch right now with rising gas prices. It just doesn’t bother them as much because they have so many other options to get around, and it is great for a tourist in their country because I can get pretty much wherever I want to go with no problems.
Glasgow is a very different city than Edinburgh. Where Edinburgh is more of a laid-back city with old style Scottish architecture, Glasgow reminded me more of a city in America with a more high tech, rushed kind of atmosphere. Even though Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, Glasgow is the biggest city in the country.
After walking down several blocks we arrived at the Glasgow School of Art. Most of the group took a guided tour, but Beth, Chelsea (birthday girl!), and I decided to look around the free parts of the museum and check out the city some more while they were doing that. We went in this one room that had some weird stuff in it, especially some artsy videos that were very strange.
We walked around the city some more and ran into an old woman who was lost. Even though we were in Glasgow for the first time, I had a map with me to show her where to go. She was a nice old lady, though she spit a lot when she talked, and I had a good conversation with her as we walked down the street. I like to talk with elderly people because they always have a lot of interesting stories, which are bottled-up and ready to release because most people don’t want to listen to them.
We then checked out the Glasgow Caledonian University, where Chelsea picked up a master’s degree program catalog. From what we saw at the front of the university, it was pretty cool and artsy looking, and I think it would be neat if she got into the master’s degree program there.
After that we headed down to meet up with the rest of the group at the Willow Tea Room, which is a world-famous tea house designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who is Glasgow’s most celebrated designer (and attended the Glasgow School of Art we visited earlier). Honestly, this was probably the best tea I have ever had in my life. I got this vanilla tea that was insanely good and I had to buy some of it before I left for my mom (a big tea lover), though I will definitely be dipping into it too. I also had a good sandwich and basically everything about the whole experience was awesome. You know you are in a cool place when people are taking pictures of their food and drinks.
After that Chelsea and I headed over to the cathedral with Dr. Rushing and Dr. Bender. The cathedral was awesome, and I got to take some amazing pictures. I also saw the tomb of St. Mungo. I heard from Dr. Rushing that this cathedral was very similar to the one in St. Andrews that was destroyed. It was pretty cool to be able to see two similar cathedrals with one in ruins and the other still standing for comparison.
I met up with Doug at the cathedral and we decided to brave the rain and check out the Necropolis on the hill behind the cathedral. The Necropolis was awesome and was probably the coolest graveyard I have ever seen. There were massive gravestones everywhere all along a massive hillside, with many dating back a few hundred years. The rain started coming down harder as we ventured deeper into it (and I didn’t have an umbrella), but I was a man on a mission (though a bit drenched for the remainder of the journey). After the taking the train to Edinburgh, I stopped off in the station to make reservations for this weekend’s Isle of Skye adventure.
I talked with a guy from Aberdeen later on that night about my trip to the Isle of Skye this coming weekend. He informed me that (like I have heard many times before) it is one of the most beautiful places I will ever see. Also, he said the weather patterns are so weird there that I should bring an array of clothing such as: a heavy coat, a raincoat and umbrella, as well as a T-shirt and shorts. He said there is no telling what the weather will be like at any given moment up there. He also said to be ready for midges (as I heard before from the Aussies I met earlier) as they are in swarms up there, and I could be coming back with some pretty bad bites if I don’t prepare properly. I am hoping this midge cream I have will suffice, but I might have to get one of those body net things if it gets real bad.
Despite all this grand midge news, I am now thinking about heading out on Thursday instead of Friday, after we get finished with class activities to have more time on Skye. I think I am going switch my reservations for a longer visit with
the isle and my little midge buddies.

2 thoughts on “6/17 Teatime and Tombstones

    1. Ha Ha yeah, you are the master tea photographer so how can I compete with that! How are things going up there in Kentucky? I miss Scotland so much and wish I was still there. There are no Royal Oaks in Chattanooga!

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