Sunday, December 27, 2015 Road Junkies 0 Comments

, Chapter 22: 
Days 26-27:  Edinburgh to Glasgow  
Edinburgh was besieged with rainfall on Saturday, dousing our plans to return to Calton Hill and enjoy the views over the city one last time.  Instead, we hung out at the Residence Inn, worked on the blog, and made plans for where we'd go after Glasgow.  
Navigating Edinburgh's Waverly Station
On Sunday, we packed up and caught a taxi to Waverly Station for our train to Glasgow.  Arriving about 9:30 am, we were greeted by a ticket agent who couldn't understand why we were there almost an hour before the 10:23 departure of the first direct train to Glasgow Central.  Apparently airport habits die hard.
After purchasing first class tickets for £12.70 each, we sat in the waiting room until the departure of an earlier train left platform 10.  With our absorption in Pottermania on Friday, we looked around for Platform 9 3/4 but were unable to find such.
And from Glasgow, we'll go to...
When we boarded, we had the first class car to ourselves.  It was spotless and well appointed.  With ample electrical outlets and a strong wifi signal, we continued working on our travel plans on the brief trip.  In less than an hour, we disembarked at the stunning Glasgow Central station, the UK's busiest train station outside London.  

Since it opened its doors in 1879, Glasgow Central has grown from eight to 15 platforms. Legend has it the station was the site of a murder.  It has also seen a gas explosion and served as a temporary mortuary during World War One.  To prevent its becoming a target for the German Luftwaffe during World War II, the stations glass roof was painted black.  Apparently it worked as Glasgow Central was not attacked.  Unfortunately, however, the black paint proved impossible to remove once the threat was passed.  More than 50 years later, every pane of the glass roof was replaced.

Glasgow Central
A short walk took us to the Marriott, which we found to be old, dreary and cramped.  We stayed in the room long enough to connect to the internet and book a one-bedroom apartment at Fraser Suites.  The Marriott staff were kind enough to allow us to cancel without penalty and we caught a taxi to the new hotel.  The room wasn't perfect, but was much better, including a kitchenette and separate bedroom.
While checking in, we were treated to lots of suggestions from the front desk clerk, a self-appointed ambassador for the city of Glasgow.  One place he recommended we visit was the Glasgow Necropolis, a Victorian cemetery located on a prominent hill east of the cathedral.  He assured us that the view from the hilltop would be memorable.  
Glasgow Necropolis
Since we need scant encouragement to visit interesting cemeteries, we soon found ourselves walking a little over a mile to the Glasgow Necropolis.  Though more than 50,000 have been buried there, only about 3,500 burials are marked with monuments, a practice common when the cemetery was founded in 1832.  The cemetery was active with tourists and local visitors, wandering the paths and enjoying the city views.  
Glasgow Cathedral
Across the Bridge of Sighs, separating the living from the dead, is Glasgow Cathedral, a parish church of the Church of Scotland.  Dedicated in the year 1197, after sixty years of construction, it was originally constructed by the Catholic church, becoming part of the Church of Scotland after the 16th century Protestant Reformation.  Most of the current cathedral structure dates from a major rebuilding in the 13th century.

The cathedral's soot-stained spire and green roofs tower over the city's more modern buildings.  Its Gothic architecture is compelling, but its real claim to fame is its place as the sole medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland to survive the 1560 Scottish Reformation.  Inside, the eye is drawn to the warm tones of the 105-foot wooden ceiling,  Though it has been restored on a number of occasions, some panels still date from the 1300s.  
Glasgow Cathedral nave
On the way back to the apartment, we stopped and shopped at Aldi, allowing us to prepare dinner in our room.

Our own personal train car...for now

Our transport to Glasgow

Though much of the cathedral's wooden ceiling has been replaced, some original timbers remain.