Before hopping on the bus again, I walked to the nearby Glasgow School of Art, by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, still sadly closed after the disastrous fire in May last year. But this is all I could see.
Before getting to the next hop-on bus stop, I noticed that Glasgow should be called San Francisco on Clyde.
After some bits of shopping and a very efficient encounter with the branch of my bank in Queen Street (it is only recently, because of the current inquiry, that I have realised that I was where the horrific bin lorry incident took place a few months ago), I took the bus again. This at one point took me over what Glaswegians call ‘The Squinty Bridge’, properly known as the Clyde Arc. Not at its best here because of the rain, from pictures it seems in any case to be prettier lit up at night.
Choosing to believe the weather forecast that, if it was not to get any warmer, it was at least due to stop raining, I arrived at the Botanic Gardens, my confidence justified. My first visit was to the Kibble Palace,
where I was particularly taken by the display of carnivorous plants.
I then moved on to the main glasshouses, where I was delighted to find one of my favourites, begonias (slideshow).
Here are some other plants I enjoyed in the conservatories:
I didn’t spent a great deal of time outdoors, as the weather really wasn’t favourable. The Gardens are abundantly supplied with dedicated benches,
but, as you can see, the populace felt just as I did about being outside. I did visit the rose garden, though it seemed to be past its best for this year, then had a little sit-down in a sheltered spot for a while. Lunch was in the swelteringly hot café.
In better weather, I felt I could spend an entire day visiting these lovely Botanic Gardens, but chilly and with by now very sore feet, I decided to end my visit to Glasgow at that point. Having recovered my suitcase from my hotel, I took a taxi to pick up my pre-booked ‘compact’ hire car. On being asked by the company if I would mind having a slightly larger one, for the same price, I cavilled when I saw what they were offering,
and asked whether there wasn’t an alternative as I had never driven such a wide car in my life. There wasn’t, they said. I have to report that it was no pleasure to drive this BMW 3200 D Sport, aka the Big White Beast, for the four days I had it. I was nervous all the time, terrified that it might be stolen or vandalised, and the ride was no nicer than that of my 14-year old Peugeot 206. Only the steering felt a little better, though I couldn’t tell you why. Oh, and I did enjoy the fact it was automatic.
On next to beautiful Dumfriesshire for three full days.