One of the top tourist destinations in Glasgow is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Museum and Park. Situated on the northwest end of town on Argyle street by the banks of the River Kelvin it is the most popular ‘free to enter’ visitor attraction in Scotland. The museum opened in 1901 as the Palace for Fine Arts for the Glasgow International Exhibition held that year. It is built in a Spanish Baroque style in the local red bricks, a magnificent building with a grand pipe organ occupying the heart of the museum in its grand hall which is played daily at 1pm.
The museums collections contain some world, local and natural history pieces with a broad collection of outstanding European artists and some of the Old Masters such as Reuben and Rembrandt and a good collection from the French impressionists Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh… A focal piece is the Christ of Saint John on the Cross by surrealist painter Salvador Dali which was purchased by the museums curator after meeting Dali himself.
Adjacent to the museum is the Sir Joseph Paxton designed Kelvingrove park which encompasses 85 inner city acres along the Kelvin River. It’s a great example of a Victorian Park and you could pack a picnic lunch and spend a whole day here.
After filling ourselves up on art history we walked up the hill to view another incredible building, the University of Glasgow. It makes Hogwarts look like a kindergarten with its impressive facade and opulent grounds. The University is the 4th oldest in the English speaking world, founded in 1451. The actual campus spreads over this end of the city with a number of buildings housed by various faculties. Tuition is free for Scottish and EU students but hard to get in, with over 35,000 applicants each year and only about 4000 admitted.
After wondering the University and grounds we hoped on a double decker bus with front window seats to view the chaos of rush hour in Glasgow. We got off downtown for some more people watching and headed to Waxy O Connors, a large downtown pub for a pint and some grub.
Today was just a low key day about our neighborhood, tomorrow is our last day in the big city and we’re planning on visiting the Peoples Palace and Winter Gardens. Thursday Afternoon we jump on the train to Stirling where we look forward to meeting the owners of our first house/pet sit.
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