I’m just home after spending a couple of weeks babysitting in Glasgow. All went well; the girls are growing up, and have miraculously changed from whinging monsters into delightful human beings.
Life is different in Glasgow. It takes a while to get used to the constant traffic and the hooting of commuter trains as they clickety-clack across the bridge to the station opposite. At night policecars with their sirens going hurtle from the nearby police station. The drunks from the pub below spill out shouting into the street, and at weekends the karaoke prevents anyone sleeping until midnight.
But the west end of Glasgow is a very interesting place to be. The banks of the river Clyde and the old shipyards have been transformed. The Riverside Museum is now home for the old Museum of Transport.
It is Glasgow’s Guggenheim and when it opened last year it was feted as the most exciting new building in Europe. Outside the museum is moored Glasgow’s Tall Ship, the Glenlee, built in 1896.
A short walk away is Glasgow University set above Kelvingrove Park with its statues of famous scientists and lavish Victorian fountains.
At the entrance to the park is the Kelvingrove Museum, the most visited museum outside of London.
The children were fascinated by the stuffed elephant and giraffe from the vast natural history collection. The art galleries upstairs include works by Scottish Colourists and exponents of the Glasgow School as well Old Masters and French impressionists.
New to me was the House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park. It was built in the 1990s from a design by Rennie Macintosh whose art nouveau style runs through the very core of Glasgow. This house is people friendly, not as much a museum as a venue for weddings and conferences, so the girls were allowed to chase around and play on the big white piano in the huge music room.
Glasgow, once notorious for its slums, gangs and derelict shipyards has been resurrected as one of the world’s top 10 cities for visitors. There is plenty of history, culture and theatre and the transport system is second to none. One day I’ll go there for a holiday!