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  • Writer's pictureJane Smith

Scotland Day 13 - Rest day in Glasgow

A delightfully leisurely start to the day, having breakfast and popping back into North Face briefly where I'd bought the third pair of walking trousers in Scotland on Thursday. I'd had a lovely chat then to Sonya, an impressive young woman who volunteers for various causes as well as working. She recognised me this morning, and as I was leaving the shop said that she'd remembered my trek last night when she was asked to go out for drinks with her friends, and instead went to the gym instead.

The idea of me as some sort of wellness guru made me smile. Especially when Philip pointed out that it was on my suggestion we'd ended up having a drink in a very lairy pub last night. Gwyneth Paltrow I'm not - in so many respects.

We were pretty unfamiliar with Glasgow, so we took the bus tour. Brilliantly we were in bright sunshine, and it gave us a great overview of this fantastic city.

On my friend Carly's recommendation, we hopped off at the Transport Museum. I'm not sure whether we'd have chosen to without her suggestion, but it was a great shout, starting with the Tall Ship Glenlee.

Inside the museum every sort of mode of transport was represented, from Chopper bike (disappointingly neither of us had had one as children) to trams and steam engines. And a Sinclair C5 simulator, which required a lot of concentration.

The bus was a great place from which to see the many street art installations too, some municipal, some independent.

Along with St Mungo (confusingly also named St Kentigan) Rennie Mackintosh is a big name in Glasgow. The tour showed us various buildings, and also pointed out the Willow tea rooms that he designed. Food and great architecture combined, who can resist?

Philip was assiduous at keeping me rested where possible, so we had a couple of hours off before delightedly returning to the Royal Exchange Square to see the Banksy exhibition Cut and Run. Banksy had chosen Glasgow for this 25 year retrospective of his stencils because of the statue of the Duke of Wellington outside the gallery. A traffic cone has been placed on the statue's head since the 1990s. However often it is removed by the authorities, a replacement is placed as regularly. Banksy has described this as his favourite piece of art in the UK. The exhibition was by turns moving and funny, but what was so impressive was his imagination and artistic skill. The intricacies of the stencils and his ability as a painter were wonderful. If you're in Glasgow, or anywhere nearby, get a ticket.

We sheltered from a downpour in the Wetherspoons iteration of the Counting House. I cannot believe that the 19th century tellers of the Bank of Scotland would have been quite as lively as the people of Glasgow on a Saturday night out, but their domed ceiling would have been the same.

The food is great in this city too, we went Mexican this evening before finishing the night at an escape room at which we were average at best! It's been a lovely day, diverting and interesting, and a total contrast to what I've been doing for the last fortnight. Back to my walking life again in the morning.

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