Glasgow – Day 18

We have arrived in Glasgow after 4 PM and once we get our rooms, it will be time to take a short walk around Glasgow before our final dinner with the group.  What a location. What a hotel.  We are staying at the Grand Central Hotel, connected to Grand Central Station, a railroad station in Glasgow. 

with a statue to firefighters right out front. 
My what long hallways you have….

and staircase chandeliers –  from bottom  and top.
Grand Central Station –  and the entrance from the railway station to our hotel. 
Now for some images from the short walk around – Glasgow was very involved with the tobacco industry in the newly formed Americas.
Colonial trade drove the transformation of Glasgow between 1740 and 1775 but, above all, the trade in tobacco made much of the Glasgow.  Glasgow found its niche by directly supplying the American colonies with manufactured goods, linen cloth and iron, without which they could not survive. The ships returned to Britain with colonial goods, mainly tobacco from mainland Maryland and Virginia but also sugar and other exotic products of slavery from the Caribbean islands.  In the 1770s Glasgow controlled over half of all the British trade in tobacco, which made up over one third of Scotland’s imports and over half its exports. This trade was immensely profitable as a consequence of which the tobacco traders soon became some of the richest men in the world. The colonial trade led directly to the development of industry on Scotland’s west coast, e.g. shipyards, rope works, leather works and sugar refineries.  Tobacco merchants set up a number of banks in order to deal with their bills of trading. The Scottish banking system grew as a direct result of the tobacco trade. In 1775 the trade collapsed due to the American Revolution. The former colonies, now free of the obligation to transport goods in British ships, simply by-passed Glasgow and sold directly to the European markets. Whilst this marked the end of the Tobacco Lords era, the emergence of the cotton industries and improvements to the steam engine would see the city grow larger and wealthier as the industrial revolution of the 19th century took Glasgow to greater heights.
Alot of the buildings we saw dated back to the merchant banks and that trade time.   There were a number of nicely painted murals –  This one – tied to what the shop was providing – clever.

The peacock being the most spread Art Nouveau pattern, a great example is the one adorning the Princes Square Shopping Centre building facade on Buchanan Street.
We then walked through this very expensive shopping center.  

There were a number of statues in George Square – I missed the one of Robert Burns the poet, but there was only one of a woman.   Queen Victoria: (1819-1901) succeeded to the throne in 1837 and first visited Glasgow in August 1849. Her great love of Scotland prompted the acquisition of Balmoral Castle as a royal residence, which she had rebuilt in 1856 and visited almost every year until her death. The monument shows the Queen seated side-saddle, holding an imperial scepter raised in her right hand.
 One of the merchant buildings.
 A view of Grand Central Station as we started back towards the hotel.
Back to the hotel for the final dinner and a extremely early wake up for the flight home.

While not the blue police box – aka TARDIS, it was blue, so I had to. So my parting image is not what you would think – but the geek in me had to.  Sorry.  It was a grand trip.  Hope to someday go back and see more of Wales and Scotland, but in a car with a chance to stop and photograph it the right way.
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