Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Quick picks: floating heads and a dangerous unicorn

Our second and final day in Glasgow featured a lot of walking and an eclectic mix of museums and landmarks. A few things that stood out:

The Lighthouse: I admit I had never heard of the architect and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh before we began planning this trip. We learned a lot about his work on our various excursions today, including an exhibit on his influence on the Glasgow Style at the Kelvingrove Musuem and Art Gallery as well as a trip to one of his signature buildings, the Lighthouse. It offers a great view of Glasgow for those brave enough to climb the circular staircase. Surprising fact? The building was actually designed to house the Herald, a Glasgow newspaper.

The Lighthouse was designed in 1895. 

View from the top. There were a heck of a lot of stairs to get there.

The Lion and Unicorn staircase: My first thought upon seeing this staircase at The University of Glasgow was, "How unique is that?" My second thought was, "Has anyone ever died after being impaled on that horn?" I am not normal. But considering the stairs date to 1690, surely it has caused at least a minor flesh wound or two.

The staircase was moved in 1870 when the college changed locations, and the staircase had to be changed from a right turn to a left turn. 

See what I mean about that point?

The mini-subway: Glasgow has a 15-stop subway that runs in a big circle. According to Rick Steves, you can ride all the way around it in about 25 minutes. It really doesn't serve much of the city center, but it's great for getting out to the artsy West End for dinner. It made me consider the possibilities of a small subway system in a city like Columbus.

Ryan on the subway on the way home from dinner at Two Figs. There was only one other person on the car with us. 
And while there's really no comparison to the London Tube, I still looked up the record for the shortest time to pass through all of its stations: 16 hours, 29 minutes, 13 seconds to physically visit all 270 underground stations (set in 2011 and recognized by Guinness World Records).

My favorite photo of the day: The floating heads display by Sophie Cave, taken at the Kelvingrove  Museum and Art Gallery. The museum was similar to the Field Museum in Chicago, both in terms of collection and architecture, though the exhibits were organized more poorly in our opinions. The museum contains a large organ and concerts are scheduled every afternoon.

Each one of the more than 50 heads has a different expression.

Ryan's sign of the day:

Yes, I told him that he has the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy. 

Scottish cliche checklist: Cross bag pipes off the list. We saw a piper performing outside a favorite tourist hangout on our way to dinner. But we didn't take a photo because we didn't want everyone else to know we were tourists, too (they undoubtedly thought we were, but why confirm it?).

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