Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Great Glasgow Getaway

As an official Edinburgh resident several things are expected of me. I must possess a burning hatred for the tram project. I must roll my eyes every time I see a street performer playing bagpipes, and murmur something about Edinburgh having "so much more to offer than that." And I must have a condescending, disparaging opinion of Glasgow.

And to be honest, I am a little critical of Scotland's other major city.  Despite the fact that it has over 200,000 more people than Edinburgh, I find it a lot less exciting than the capital city; over-industrialized, a bit dirty, and not nearly as historic.  However, it does have a thriving underground art scene, some amazing restaurants, and great live music.  Oh, and you're much more likely to meet actual Scottish people in Glasgow than you are in Edinburgh.

A few weekends ago, I boarded a train and headed West for a days' sightseeing with my pal Marc. Here are a couple of highlights of our day:

Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis

Dedicated to Saint Mungo, also known as Ninian, this medieval cathedral is one of was built in the early 12th century.   It's an imposing and impressive structure, and it looks strange in the middle of Urban Glasgow's city center.  Built on a hill behind it is a Victorian garden cemetery, with 3,500 tombs and 50,000 graves dating from 1832.  Both the Cathedral and the Cemetary are fascinating, scenic, and well-worth visiting.

Glasgow's Christmas Festival

 Glasgow's George Square Christmas display was impressive, with a big "observation" wheel that made the ferris wheel in the Princes Street market look like a kiddie ride.  While it will never beat Edinburgh's Christmas Market in charm and authenticity, Marc and I thoroughly enjoyed our deep-fried veggie burgers while people watching for a lunchtime break at Glasgow's Christmas festival.

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