Monday, September 18, 2006

Exploring Glasgow, Part 3

Entry for Monday, 18 September:

Every Saturday we try to explore some interesting bits of Glasgow. This weekend’s exciting installment got substantially co-opted by the need to find a place to store our furniture, which may arrive as soon as this week. This includes two sofas (that we bought a year ago with money that Gladys [Diane’s mom] gave us) and two oak dressers from our bedroom. This is mostly furniture for which we no longer have room in our house in Toledo, but that we thought we could make use of here. However, we were unable to find an unfurnished flat here, so now we have to store this extra stuff until we can find a more permanent living situation.

We checked out two storage places, one just northeast of the City Centre, not far at all the Glasgow Cathedral, site of last weekend’s Saturday adventure; the other was south of the River Clyde, a part of town that we had not been to before. Both places were right next to large motorways, but unlike their American counterparts, both were inside large warehouse-type structures rather than being rows of low outdoor structures. They tend toward a rabbit-warren feel, especially the first, which we found to be mazelike. That and a somewhat lower price led us to choose the second place we looked at, in the Govan section of Glasgow, south of the river.

I am also exploring our section of Glasgow via my runs, especially my Saturday morning long runs. I am trying gradually to extend my range so that I can tackle the 9 mile roundtrip between here and Clydebank, about 4.5 miles from here, where the Firth & Clyde Canal approaches the River Clyde. On Saturday I ran 7.5 miles, up the River Kelvin, past the U of Glasgow Science Campus, up to Bearsden Cross (a large roundabout), back on Switchback Road. This wasn’t far enough, so I did another loop, running along the Temple Walkway from near our house to its end in Netherton, then back along the canal from the west. It’s great exploring the area like this; although the busy roads aren’t nice to run along, the Canal and River Kelvin are great. I’m still looking for the perfect 10k run, though, that avoids roads and sticks to pretty paths along bodies of water. Fortunately, there are still plenty of possibilities to explore for months to come.

We also made good use of Glasgow’s famous mini-subway, affectionately known as the Clockwork Orange, because it goes in a circles (actually two circles, one clockwise – inner circle – and the other anti-clockwise [as they say here] – the outer circle). It is low enough that I have to be careful not to bump my head getting on or off. Diane felt right at home!

Later on Saturday afternoon, we explored the eastern end of Great Western Road (which sounds like a contradiction in terms), like the ethnic shops around St. Mary’s Cathedral, where we have been going to church on Sundays. The most interest place specialized in asian music and exotic-looking ladies shoes.

On Sunday, we went to the Cathedral later in the day for a 5pm tea, where we met a many interest people, including the current main priest, whose name is Kelvin (like the nearby river). He asked me what I thought of the service, and I said it was much more traditional that we were used to; this surprised him, because apparently they are considered pretty nontraditional for here.

Well it’s late here, and I can hear the rain and wind outside; dreich weather has set in, it appears. We got our broadband finally today, so that is another piece. We almost have a life now!

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