By Scottish standards, the weather here is going to be amazing over the next few days so we packed up the ol’ red bang-a-rang stroller and got out into it…after the obligatory 1PM recovery coffee and donut stop and a place called Seb & Mili mind you, we aren’t heathens here after all.
We are staying over on the West side of Glasgow by the University of the same name. There a few large parks over here (in fact Glasgow has the most square meter of park space per capita in all of Europe…said me to no one who cares) which is why we chose this area. We made our way to the largest of these parks, Kelvingrove, for the first part of the morning. The park gets its name from the River Kelvin that flows through it (which also happens to be the namesake of Lord Kelvin who came up with the unit of tempe…there I go again…you don’t care).
The large park had two playground areas that we let the kids crush for a bit so they could get their energy out. Erin largely played the part of supervisor, and I lounged on the lawn and read about the city and the area we were in and how we were going to fill our time in it…#notplanners
Glasgow is a pretty chill spot and has a bunch of interesting history and things going on…like the old best-in-breed shipping industry, ambitious commitment to music and the arts, architectural statements and victorian era fusion, how the concept of an isotope came into being…
But yeah, mostly R wanted to clamor up a statue like all the other kids were doing. I let him sweat it out a bit on trying to figure out how to get up the (currently not functioning water fountain which is a tribute to the 1800s poem Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott and was erected…ugh ok, i’ll stop…) and eventually hoisted him up.
After finding some “really cool stuff” (which definitely was NOT broken glass) we got off the fountain and headed over to the other playground which was directly adjacent to a skate park where “the kids and their damn apps and baggy jeans” where doing tricks on BMX bikes and skateboards. R was mesmerized and “wants to do that one day when he is 5”.
Having gotten the kids some exercise we continued north through the par, past Glasgow University, specifically looking for Ashton Lane, where a lot of restaurants and pubs are…you know, the ones with that one cool vibe. As we passed through the park we saw obvious gatherings of students (it’s also graduation week here), families out for the day with make-shift grills, and various social groups all congregating on the expansive park grounds, all of them in middle of genuinely not taking the weather for granted. Coming from Florida, its hard to remember that they call it the Sunshine State for a reason, and we really are very spoiled for how much sun we get.
We made our way down the middle of Ashton Lane’s cobblestones, but owning to the aforementioned combination of graduation week, nice weather, and the coming early evening time, it was starting to show signs of getting pretty rowdy. We kept going until reaching the north west corner of a major intersection and entered the Glasgow Botanical Gardens. We were looking for the greenhouse whose construction was inspired by a top down view of the the Star Trek Enterprise Class-E (not really…or really?).
Inside, but not before a brief reminder about using our “listening ears”, we got to see some coy fish and an entire room of carnivorous plants. The saucer-section of the building (I’m serious…am I?) was ringed with examples of circa-1800s Scottish sculpture, while the interior contained a vast display of ferns, some crazy info about ferns (ferns have been around for 335M years!) and then next to the ferns, some more ferns.
There were other some non-fern plants too. Like…there was a sausage tree. Which is a real thing. Make your own joke! If you are ever in Malawi and a have a local beer, you are probably drinking some sausage tree. For real. Sausage Tree.
We left the garden and stopped for a quick bite & beer at a restaurant that looked like a converted airplane hanger called the Hillhead Bookclub (not an actual bookclub, but there was ping pong) which is right next to the Hillhead Library (which is an actual library, unknown ping pong status). We had some fried goodies and had our first Tennant, a Scottish Lager which may be their Miller Lite but I dunno and didn’t care; we were tired and it tasted good.
An uneventful stroll back to the hotel lead us through the actual University grounds, and as we passed back through Kelvingrove park it was impossible not to notice that the previously observed gatherings of people had become significantly more…erm…mirthful (R pointed out a few people playing “tag” in the woods).
For dinner we ended up at an Indian restaurant called Bukharah. Indian food in Scotland? Well, Scotland has a reputation for good Indian food and this place did not disappoint. From the Nan Bread to the Chana, the food was great, even if the service was a touch slow and our children had been reduced to tiny puddles of human that just needed to go to bed.
Finally, we acquiesced and came home for a good night’s sleep. Day 2 in Glasgow is tomorrow!