Touring Glasgow by Foot and Subway (With a Stop for a Concert)

On the banks of the River Clyde
The Glasgow Cathedral seen from the Necropolis

My Fitbit says I walked 22,148 steps today and I’m feeling every one of them. We started out this morning at the crack of dawn which in Glasgow at this time of year is around 8:00. We headed to the Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis, a huge cemetery on the hill behind it. Everyone told us it was the best place to get a view of the city and they were right. It may be the coolest cemetery I’ve ever visited and it was worth the walk. (I’ll be uploading pictures to the Scotland section under the Photos tab soon.)

From there we headed to the Glasgow Green and the People’s Palace, an eclectic little history museum with the huge terra cotta Doulton Fountain in front. We hoped to visit the Winter Gardens greenhouse but we found it’s been closed for repairs so we continued on for a long, scenic walk along the River Clyde.

John Whitener, tuba player with RSNO

We made our way back to the hotel for a little rest before heading to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra center for an afternoon concert. We were looking forward to this concert because the RSNO’s tuba player, John Whitener, is from Maine and once took lessons from Paul. As we entered the lobby, we were delighted to see a life-size poster of John with his tuba. The program was short, La Bagarre by Martinů and Dvořák‘s Symphony No. 5. I wasn’t familiar with either work. I thought the Martinů piece was strange but I really liked the Dvořák. Afterward we met John and went to a coffee shop to chat. As the only non-tuba player at the table, I couldn’t contribute much to the very technical conversation that ensued, but it was fun catching up with him and hearing about his life since I last saw him, more than 20 years ago.

River walk in the Glasgow Botanic Gardens

We had some daylight left and it wasn’t raining yet, so we then headed to the subway for a trip to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. The Glasgow subway is one of least confusing I’ve ever seen. It’s just one line, running in a circle. You can take the outer train running clockwise or the inner train running anti clockwise (as they say in the UK) but it doesn’t really matter because eventually you will get to where you want to go. At the Botanic Gardens we found that the Kibble Palace, a large greenhouse, was already closed (winter hours) so we watched workers setting up lights for their Halloween program, GlasGLOW. We then took a long, beautiful walk in the twilight along their river trail, and then took the subway back to the center of town for dinner at a pub (beer and pies).

We thought about looking for some evening entertainment, but those 22,000 steps took a lot out of us, so we went back to the hotel for some needed rest.