Friday was, of course, the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. It’s also the Merchant City Festival in Glasgow, so we saw some pretty interesting things today!
But first we headed over to the Kelvingrove Museum…it’s an eclectic collection that had something interesting for each of us. And there’s an organ recital each day on the 100 year old organ in the great hall. The recital begins with the tune inspired by the place–Kelvingrove–which many of you might know better as the tune for “Will You Come And Follow Me.” The organ has not been “upgraded” to an electric system, it’s still as it was originally built (including the pre-sets for the stops, built in in 1900!), which is awesome. It’s quite the instrument. After the great 30 minute recital (which today was Olympic-themed, complete with Chariots of Fire!), the organist led a tour of the instrument, including showing how the organ works and a chance to see the pipes and blowers behind the beautiful case! One of the coolest things about the recital was the screens that showed the organist’s feet and hands, so you could watch him play. Awesome.
Afterwards, several of us went over to the Fossil Grove, the oldest thing you can see in Glasgow. There are trees that have been standing in the same place for more than 350 million years! Well, “standing”….they were there when Scotland was part of Pangea, and was equatorial (aka tropical!). They were obviously enormous…and when they died, the insides were filled in with mud and silt that became sandstone, and the bark eventually turned to coal, and the grove was discovered in 1887 while quarrying stone for roads and parks. Rather than move the fossils, they simply built a shelter over them so you can see them in-situ, which is awesome. So, when asked how our afternoon was, the answer is “Carboniferous!”
On the way back we found ourselves in George Square, outside the hotel, watching The Big Man Walking. It’s an enormous blue puppet. It’s quite bizarre, and the people around were strangely miming different actions and conversation with the puppet. Apparently later the Big Man actually “walked” through the city to another location. Strange. We missed that because we went to dinner, which was also delicious!
Tomorrow morning we head to Iona. We won’t have regular internet access there, so you’ll have to wait for blog posts until we get home. Until then, enjoy your week!