Our next stop in Scotland was in Glasgow. It’s a big big city, but with a lot of old old buildings still looming hugely over the streets in a beautiful way. There are also some neat bridges that span the river.
We couch surfed with a German fellow named Alexio, who is working on a dissertation on locally sourced food.
The first morning he showed us how to cook an Austrian breakfast dish whose name I didn’t catch but whose translation I remember: “The Emperor’s Mess.” It was basically sliced apples (locally grown) fried then mixed with pancake batter and doused in brown sugar. It was basically delicious.
We spent most of the day in Pollock Park, which was voted Europe’s Best Park in 2008. Hanging out in the Deer Field were the strangest deer we’ve ever seen.These deer are also referred to as Highland Cattle.
We toured the Pollock House, which was situated in exquisite gardens and housed an impressive collection of Spanish art, including El Greco, which my phone just tried to correct to Eel Greco.
There was a lovely bridge.
Also in the park resides the Burrell Collection, which is a big museum of art and artifacts collected by a rich man named Burrell. We were lucky enough to be there during the Impressionist exhibit, one of our favorite kinds of art. Along with paintings by Sisley, Renior, and Manet (sadly, no Monet), there were a bunch of pastels by Degas.
We took the subway, which just goes in a big circle, to the city centre for some food at an old bank that had been converted into a pub called The Counting House. We tried haggis and liked it! It’s best just not to think about it while you’re eating it. But I never think about what I’m eating anyway, so it was easy. Sometimes food will just disappear right in front of me and I’ll have to follow the clues and employ deductive logic to figure out that it has ended up inside my own stomach. Anyway, Karen’s hot dog was comically large.
One of Alexio’s neighbors, an older Irish gent named Leo, showed up in the counting house and gave us a very entertaining evening of conversation. He seemed to know something about everything, and would open his eyes really wide and smile with a huge open mouth every time he rattled off interesting trivia. Also, his favorite movie was “2001,” so he was instantly my best friend.
Alexio mentioned a place that had open mic night where all performers got a free pint, so we frantically scribbled out a story to tell on stage with Penny Whistle Ryan as the soundtrack. It was about a haggis with eyes and a peculiar caterpillar and by the time we got to the place it was too weird to tell to anyone, especially a crowd of strangers who were already on heightened alert for anything that sounded like it was just being done for a free pint, so we walked back to Alexio’s house past the university tower, which he compared to Hogwarts…
…and Kelvingrove Gallery, which made us wish we had another day in Glasgow just to explore the massive collection of art contained within. TRAVEL TIP: Spend more than one day in Glasgow! Maybe we’ll come back. There’s also the botanical gardens to see. But for now, onwards and northwards!