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Cathedrals and City of Dead in Glasgow

Walking tours are a great way to see a city. Although tour guide commentary can be helpful and interesting, they can be contrived and full of cheese, and not the good stuff. Like the good, solid, brave Canadians that we were, Morgan and I decided that the thrill that comes with getting ourselves a bit lost sounded a lot more entertaining we drew up our own Tour de Glasgow that would take us roughly six hours to complete.


Our first stop would set to be the Glasgow Cathedral, but first we accidently stumbled upon Provand’s Lordship. This Bilbo-Baggins-looking house is the oldest house in Glasgow. It was built in 1471 and is one of only four medieval buildings to survive the Reformation era in Glasgow. With Lindsay-sized entranceways, it was like being in a miniature village for monster sized Morgan.


Next stop, Glasgow Cathedral. The eerie medieval exterior stood in stark constrast to the cathedrals breath-taking interior. Stained-glass windows blanket the walls welcoming tons of light to uncover the massive high-vaulted ceilinged structure and beautifully wall-mounted organ. Like many churches and cathedrals in Scotland, Glasgow Cathedral still holds a full church service and is free to enter.


Back into daylight, we ventured to the neighbouring Necropolis (Latin word meaning “city of the dead”). Pathways zig-zagged along rolling hill sides leading the way to hundreds of brilliantly designed grave stones and structures. The Necropolis was created for the prominent and wealthy entrepreneurs of the ‘Second City of the Empire’. The Necropolis was one of the few cemeteries to keep records of the dead, including profession, ages, sex and cause of death. The Necropolis is now 37 acres (15 ha) and has seen
50,000 burials with 3,500 tombs that have been constructed up to 14 feet deep, with stone walls and brickpartitions.

At the tender age of 12, a young girl found herself minding a fruit barrow in Glasgow. She saved up enough money to open her own fruit shop. She eventually would go on to start renting out horses and carts to local street vendors. This area of Eastern Glasgow is now well-known as “The Barras”.  The Barras Market, which was unfortunately all closed up on the Tuesday, is open on weekends and daily during the summer months. The market is affectionately known as being a great place to grab a bargain and beer from one of its many traders.


To all those whiskey lovers – we tried to make it to a whiskey distillery, but it had sadly been closed down. Instead, we vouched for some good old fashioned Scottish water, some IRN BRU.




The Limey

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This entry was posted on October 4, 2010 by in Backpacking.
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