Posted by: Shanna Germain | 05/14/2009

Pg. 44: Glasgow


The Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. I would tell you who the man on the horse is, but I couldn’t hear it during the tour yesterday, so I don’t actually know.


  • Weather: Mild warm. 13 degrees C
  • Mileage: Too many, with a backpack that was far too full.
  • Discovery: They sell whiskey-flavored condoms at the whiskey store.
  • Media: sh[OUT]. More on this below.
  • Worst Thing: The way that my backpack got heavier and heavier and heavier as the day went on. Even though I’m pretty sure I didn’t put anything else in there.
  • Best Thing: A sunny day in the city.
  • Quote of the Day: “Ooh, you didn’t drink that yet, did you? I forgot to make it with soya.” Said by the kind man at the coffee shop, who looked incredibly contrite for his mistake, and then spent a good twenty minutes scouting around for said soya (soy milk) before being able to remake my drink.
  • Word of the Day: Crabbit. Grumpy.


I [heart] public transportation here. I really and truly do.

In order to get to Glasgow from the Isle, you take a ferry (which runs for about half an hour and is big enough to hold some 450 passengers, plus an uncertain number of cars) and then a train (which takes about forty-five minutes and is quite comfy.) Since I martyred (aka: bitched) about bad service yesterday, let me give credit where credit is very much due, and say that Scotland, from what I’ve seen, does public transportation right.

The ferry is gorgeous, inside and out. There are seats, tables, benches, bar stools, indoor and outdoor options, even a bar/restaurant/shop. People are nice, walkways and seating areas are clean and well-maintained, and when the ferry is about to leave, it warns you with a little ding-dong doorbell sound (which, for the record, I can hear from the flat, and which I’ve finally learned does NOT mean I should jump up and try to answer the door. Especially since the flat doesn’t even have a doorbell). It’s not horribly priced either — 12 pounds gets you a round-trip on both the ferry and the train, provided you make the entire trip in the same day.

Glasgow’s a very walkable city for its size, it seems. Just two very pretty, mostly tree-lined miles from the University to the City Center (which houses a number of funky shopping strips, a handful of museums, and any number of restaurants, as well as the Central Station, which is where all the trains come and go.)

There were stops to make for things that aren’t ready available on the Isle (including some searching around for a pair of hikers that would leave my feet dry, but I didn’t find quite what I wanted). Right near the center is the Gallery of Modern Art, which is currently hosting its social justice exhibit for free right now, and I stopped by to see it. This year’s exhibit, sh[OUT], explores lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and transgender life. The exhibit was small, but featured a broad range of artists and mediums, and looked at everything from relationships to sex to social injustice to post-op surgery. I highly recommend it for anyone who’s interested in seeing how artists from around the world have captured their take on the topic.

After that, it was lugging my ever-heavier backpack to central station and plunking my tired butt down for the train ride home. Funny how fast ‘home’ becomes ‘home.’ I couldn’t wait to step back onto the Isle, leaving the hustle of the city behind, to walk along the ocean with the salt air in my nose, and then crash, hard, into the glorious bed that’s become mine.

Far and fast, s.



A gorgeous day on the ferry back to the Isle.


“What is the city but the people?”  ~William Shakespeare



  1. Ooh, shOUT sounds interesting. I’ll have to go and visit!

    Glasgow’s a bit tricky for visitors. I once met a taxi driver who said when people ask to see the sights, he just drives round and round the university and shows it from lots of different angles … there are lovely things, but some are hard to find, and most are kind of ephemeral – it’s more of a city to live in than be a tourist in, if that makes sense.

    Hey, we should meet in town and have a day drinking and visiting the Barras! And then maybe a concert with stagediving. Yes. That would be ace!

  2. Oh man, I’m laughing about the taxi driver. That’s hysterical.

    And, yeah, let’s meet and go to the market — I’d love to do that! Pick a date, girlie, and I’m all yours.

  3. Wow.. clean and maintained public transportation you say?

    Wild. I always fear that I’m going to pick up some random disease from the buses and trains here (but the people watching is out of this world!).

    That Sh[OUT] exhibit sounds very interesting, I hope they make the rounds here in the US. Though if I had a choice I think I’d rather tour that castle/estate that you did earlier.

    Oh and I believe that’s the Duke of Wellington in front of the building ( if my internet skillz are working correctly ;p )

  4. “…which I’ve finally learned does NOT mean I should jump up and try to answer the door. Especially since the flat doesn’t even have a doorbell …”


    Trick or treat.

  5. You have to admit, though, that wee trick-or-treater’s ferry costume is *really* convincing.

  6. Ooh, good call Annie! I think your internetz skillz rox!

    I know, Jeremy! Those things get me every time! Some day, I’ll tell you about how I heard a stray cat outside the open window (not here, at the house back in the States) and jumped up and started clapping and yelling really loudly to scare it away… only to realize I’d just scared away the mailman.

  7. LOL you did what hail, sleet and dead of night could not do – stop the mail ;p

    hahahaha awesome

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