The next morning I woke up around 9:30 AM. I was the last person to wake up. The other 5 girls in my room left early in the morning, probably around 7 AM! I took my time rolling out of bed and had no idea what I wanted to do today, but after showering and putting on fresh clothes I walked out of the hostel at 10:30 am and saw a gal sitting on the front steps of the hostel’s entrance. She had on black spandex and open-toed shoes. Her hair was wild and frizzy, wrapped in a bun. My reaction was, “I like her quirky look! She looks like a really nice person!!!” I greeted her and asked if she were traveling alone, in which she replied, “Yes.” I told her I was traveling alone, too, and was freezing cold, but she said that she was used to that kind of weather because Chicago could get as cold as Scotland. Her name was Shiri, and she said, “I’m going to Kelvingrove Museum right now. Would you like to come with me?” And you bet I said yes! 🙂
The both of us had a map in our hands, but we still got lost. It took us about 30 minutes to find the museum. However, when we got closer to the museum, a guy exactly where to go. After we talked to him, she turned to me and said, “You know you’re in Scotland when you can smell alcohol from someone’s breath at 11 in the morning!!!” At any rate, the guy who helped us out was really nice and friendly! He said that if we saw the butcher shop we were on the right track!
We finally arrived at the museum, but we were 15 minutes too early. So, we walked around the building and took pictures of the exterior. Once we got in, the interior of the place looked like a cathedral to me because the height of the building was grand and detailed like a cathedral. It also had stained glass windows and large chandeliers, in addition to a pipe organ on the second floor at the main center of the building. The two of us just joined a tour for free, and it was interesting to learn about Scotland’s history. For example, the tour guide stated that Scotland is known for having creative engineers create things on the set of Star Trek. There was also some famous man who created this metal machine that had the full set of planets. She said it was soooo accurate that if you still wound it up it to this day, it would lose 1 second of the time over 2 years I think. If I could recall correctly from memory, she said the contraption was about 100 years old.
I saw artifacts of Egyptian tombs, etc., but I was more interested in the the history of Scotland because I was in this country. I learned that the streets named in Glasgow were actual historical references. For example, the street Battle Ground is a direct link to the Queen of Scotts being captured by Queen Elizabeth from England. There was an original letter that was written under the Queen of Scotts’s direction, where she stated that she needed help to escape from prison in the museum, too.
One of my favorite part of the museum was looking at the knights’ attire. Helmets and weapons were designed and inspired by animals to help the knights defend
themselves. For example, there was one helmet that had a sharp angle that protruded near the forehead, which emulated a bird’s beak.
I think craft work and details on the armours and weapons were amazing. I like to gaze at the details of the armour and imagine how it was made and how long it took for these craftsmen to create them. I love staring at crown moldings and carved faces made from limestones on buildings, wondering who these people are supposed to be. When I go the living room at my hostel and look up at the ceiling, I see an oval border that has plaster shaped in fruits. Everything just seems so majestic when I get to catch a glimpse of these works. There’s something personal about handcraft work and minute details.
I also saw a painting by Dahli, which was a painting of Jesus. I think the tour guide stated that the time when he painted a picture of Jesus, he was in a place of becoming religious again. He didn’t draw Jesus with a bloody crown or Jesus’ hands being nailed to the cross because he wanted Jesus to be seen in a a perfect light. There’s an actual tear on the painting, that was eventually restored. Someone was so angry by it that he took a knife and drew it from left to right on the lower 2/3 of the painting. When someone asked Dahli if he were offended by it, he stated that it was better to get some of sort of a reaction from someone than to not have any reaction at all. The painting also belongs to the city of Glasgow. Usually, after the painter dies the commission and royalties are given to his family, so it is a rare treat that Glasgow owns the property work of a painter, especially during the time when the painter is still alive.
At the end of the tour I was dead tired. I was thinking, “Dammit! I’m such an old geezer! I can’t do my straight 6-hour walks anymore. I retired my feet at the cafe and had coffee and gingerbread. At 1 o’clock a man played us 8 songs on the organ. It was nice to sit down and relax.
Statue in front of museum.
Shiri and I got back to the hostel around 2:00 PM, and she left for London. We took our separate ways, and I went straight to the computer to email people. While emailing people, I thought to myself, “I can’t walk far any more!! Dammit! I’m old!!!!!!!” So I lounged around the hostel for a few hours and took a nap. Then around 5:40 pm, I had the sudden energy to get up from my bed and decided that I wanted to check out the Botanical Gardens. The gal at the front desk said it was a ten-minute walk. As I got out of the steps from hostel, I realized I had no clue where to cut through the park. I made a left when I exited the hostel. That was wrong, of course!!! I asked a couple to show me the way when I walked through the park, but the couple said it was too far–about 20 minutes of a walk–and I was better off not going there, since it was sprinkling and getting late. The sun sets here around 8:40 PM (At least that’s what I thought at the time because I didn’t have a watch). So, I decided to walk down the neighborhood to look for food.
By the way, my hostel is great. It’s on top of a hill by a park, so it’s easy to find my way back (I just look for a plot of green up on a hill..and BOOM I’m back at my place!!! At any rate, I made two turns to the right and and then I made a left turn and walked passed by a white building called Islay Inn. It had frosted windows with a picture of Islay and all the names of the distilleries were labeled on each window. My initial thought was that it was a hotel or motel.
I opened the door and paced back and forth the bar 3 times, holding a map and pen in my hand. I felt awkward and shy in there, giving a “lost look on my face,” the kind of stare where my eyebrows would go upwards and my forehead would crinkle. It felt as though I was stepping on a set of a spaghetti western film…You know, when there’s some renagade walking through the bar and everyone stops sipping their drinks and they are just staring at you. I man with a scraggly white beard and a jolly belly looked at me and asked with a thick, Scottish accent, “Hello there. Can I help you? Do you want a drrrrrink?” He made me smile when he rolled his “r’s”. I looked at him and said, “Well, I’m still debating whether I should sit down in the back room and have a meal or just sit at the bar”. He shook my hand and introduced himself as Scottie. It turned out that Scottie was a local here and knew everyone who was inside Islay Inn. Scottie introduced me to his Chinese girlfriend (who knew there were other Asians in Scotland!!!) and everyone else sitting at the bar. His girlfriend was really sweet; she gave me a tablet and told me to try it, stating that it was kind of like fudge. Personally, I’ve had tablets before when Johnnie, the Brand Ambassador for Glenrothes and Bowmore, brought it for everyone at Seven Grand’s tasting event. It was yummy and tasted like condensed milk. I took a picture with Scottie and his girlfriend. While I posed with the 2 of them, he said, “These are my babes!” He was very warm and funny!
Scotland.” That was funny because Robbie had a ponytail and low-set eyebrows. I guess if I squinted I could see the resemblance. When the band was playing music, everyone sang and danced to the tunes. Robbie would always make a comment that I’d appreciate an American tune, but I didn’t recognize the classic, American songs! He was shocked! 15 minutes before the bar closed, Robbie asked me if I liked Gin and Tonic. I said I did and he ordered me the drink! I said, “What??? I told you a minute ago that I was done drinking for the night!!” He replied, “You said you liked Gin and Tonic!” He pointed to my drink, telling me that I needed to drink it! I stated that I was done sipping alcohol for the night, so he downed the gin and tonic.