It has been a busy few days in Glasgow. On Saturday we took a side-trip on our way into Glasgow to see The Kelpies at Falkirk. These impressive 30 metre high scuptures are a new addition since our last Scottish venture and were one of the "must-see" items on our list. While the morning had been grey and overcast, the sun came out as we arrived at The Helix giving us perfect conditions for taking photos as we strolled around the purpose-built precinct. Having enjoyed The Kelpies we took a stroll around the park before returning to the car and heading for our final destination of the trip - Glasgow City.
We checked into The Premier Inn at Pacific Quay, another new addition since our last trip and constructed for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which is situated on the banks of the Clyde opposite Bells Bridge.
Our first task was to take a walk along the Clyde and reacquaint ourselves with the Clydebank area before returning to the hotel and reserving a table for dinner.
Sunday was spent shopping in the city. We walked first to Kelvingrove, through the park and then along Sauchiehall Street and into the main shopping mall. It was very busy and, after four weeks of tiny villages and single-lane roads, it was quite overwhelming to be among so many people in one place. After browsing a number of shops, including an enjoyable spell in the Build-a-Bear Warehouse, we bought a few bits and pieces and settled for lunch at Pizza Express. Shopping done, we walked back the Premier Inn along the river having clocked 15km for the day.
Monday was a rainy day in Glasgow and we decided to drive up to Stirling to visit the castle. It was raining there too, so we had a wet walk around the castle grounds between dry times spent under cover in the palace and other castle buildings. Unfortunately, Stirling Castle is a tourist haunt and the coaches in the car park did not bode well.
We encountered several herds of "sheep" with a collective mentality that meant they could not move more than a centimetre away from each other, blocked every passageway and were completely oblivious to anyone not in their party trying to get through! One older gentleman with a group of Italian "sheep" tried valiantly to get others to move when he saw others trying to get past but with little success. Between a school exchange programme group and a party of South African rugby supporters trying to get around the castle to see anything was a nightmare. What we did see was really interesting as the castle is steeped in history and in my opinion beats Edinburgh Castle hands down.
We spent a quiet time in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders museum as obviously military history did not attract any of the aforementioned tour groups.
We then had lunch at the castle cafe which was doing a roaring trade. Here we were surrounded by loud Americans as we ordered, who don't seem to be able to converse at anything short of a yell even when they are only talking to the person next to them, but escaped as the staff opened up an additional section of the cafe seating. In spite of the staff leaving the marshmallows out of our hot chocolate, the food was good. Pasta bake with a hunk of fresh bread followed by home-baked cake went down very well. As it was still raining when we came out of the cafe so we decided to head for home.
As it was still early we decided to pay a visit to Braehead shopping centre in Renfrew and then Intu Soar (which used to be Xscape). With time to spare we opted for a movie and went to see "Macbeth" at the Odeon after having an early dinner at Pizza Express. There were 4 of us in the entire theatre so I didn't have to worry about people kicking the back of my seat but the two that were there did manage to continually rustle bags as they munched food throughout the movie. "Macbeth" was interesting but ponderous and dark, and definitely no blockbuster. Still, it killed a couple of hours and we did see some interesting movie trailers so now I want to see Suffragette and Crimson Peak.
Tuesday - our last full day in Glasgow - we spent between Summerlee (the Museum of Industry in Coatbridge), and the Transport Museum. We rounded off the day by having a meal at the hotel and doing our final packing. And tomorrow - home to Perth.