With some time on our hands, we purchased all-day bus passes and headed downtown. I know Florence wanted me to have me model a kilt, and we did go into a clothier to look at kilts. These custom made all-wool garments start at about $450 US, and that does not include the jacket, tartan sash, shirt and tie, socks or matching socks. These formal Scottish outfits can be rented for around $100 just like renting a tuxedo. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to dress up in full Scottish regalia.
The fun part of the shopping experience was meeting Jessica, an energetic young lady working at Slanj, a men’s clothing store. We talked about her experience living in Colorado for a number of years and the contrast between the United States and Scotland. We hit it off with her, and like many people we have met, she provided us with her email and told us to contact her if we had any questions during our time in Glasgow.
We went in search of an Indian restaurant in the nearby district known as Merchant City. We strolled through a few blocks of restaurants and businesses and discovered Café India. I was able to satisfy my desire for spicy food and Florence found the vegetarian fare quite delicious. It was the cook who served us. He came out to check on how we liked our meal as a special courtesy. Our high praise for the food delighted him, especially when I told him how much I enjoyed the hot spices. He showed me an item on the menu and said, “If you come back I would love to cook this for you. It is the hottest dish we make.” Whether or not we return is not important. The important thing is how appreciated we felt.
We rounded out the day with a walk through the Kelvingrove Museum, a legacy of the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition. The art galleries are impressive. I was able to view works by Rembrandt, Cezanne, Monet and Van Gogh. The highlight for me was Salvador Dali’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross. Unlike Dali’s surreal paintings, this image of the crucifixion is quite vivid. It lacks the crown of thorns, nails through flesh or any depiction of blood. The body of Christ forms a triangle suspended in the sky that points like an arrow to a fishing boat on the Earth below.
The exhibits covered much and in no discernible order. The Old West was displayed next to antiquities from Egypt. Medieval armor was roomed next to Scottish wildlife. A World War II RAF Spitfire fighter plane was suspended over an evolution of life on earth exhibit. Perhaps that was what a guide meant when she announced the museum had something for everyone. And generally, that is our impression of Glasgow. It is an unpretentious city with something for everyone. Perhaps we will make a return trip during our stay in Scotland.