Glasgow is a new city for me so my hobby and exercise routine has become exploring all its green spaces. And it has surprised me how many there are. It is apparently the second greenest city in the UK. Not the image I had of Glasgow! Is it yours?
Map of Glasgow’s green spaces.
This time took The Knees and Curiosity to Victoria Park in the West End of Glasgow. Seemed like a good place for rusty knees. Not much they could complain about, flattish, lakes, paths through acres of green and trees, formal bedding and what looked like an old quarry.
Curiosity started off with the how come it is here bit. You can probably guess when it was opened? Yes. 1897 her Jubilee year. It seems that there had been a serious down turn in shipbuilding on the Clyde with thousands unemployed and starving. The council bought the land and created a 1000 jobs to build the lakes and drives.
We started off across the grass towards the lake. Nearby picnickers seemed oblivious to the little wooden horses scattered among the trees. Lovely idea. I wonder whose?
The lake itself was perfect, swans, dogs, prams and sun.
Exactly as a park lake should look, except that at one time it apparently had had boats, model yachts and paddle wheels for kids. Why have we lost those? What changed?
Headed The Knees at a brisk pace along the path. No complaints yet. Then Curiosity brought us to a full stop. “What are these slabs of stones we are passing?” Here is one. Obviously has writing carved on it, but can’t read a word.
Solution! Down on The Knees ( complaint here) scrape up some dirt and rub it into the carving. Not sure what adult passers by though of an 81 year old scrabbling in mud, but some kids saw it was fun and joined in. And there we were, a poem about a Rowan Tree.
Turned out there were about 8 of them scattered about, all different trees. Another super idea, but not being cherished?
Onward towards the pile of rocks which seemed to mark the quarry. Inviting entrance, just lovely, but you knew The Knees were not going to be happy with uneven steps and no rail.
However, Curiosity won, of course.
Worth it! Look what turned up next!
Don’t you wish you were 6 again and scared of dragons? So tempting.
And there were dragons! Well, the possibility of dinosaurs at least. There in the quarry was one of the UK’s best preserved collection of Fossil Trees from 350 million years ago. Sheltered now in a protective building, the 11 fossil trees stumps were found when the park was being created. What a treasure!
Must go again when it is open to the public, but there was a good display board.
The quarry was a treasure in a different way. There were little gems of leaves or flowers in the rocks, just caught in the sunlight. Love finding these special spots. go back to being six and believeing the fairies put them there for fun.
And there were two more surprising trees. What do you think of this one? Looked as if it has melted around the rock! How and why do they do that?
And this one?
Not really? It was carved to commemorate the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Though it looks much better close up. Love the textures and the way the lichen has found itself a des. res. ( Do I mean lichen or what is it? )
Couldn’t resist the flowers. We don’t look at them enough do we? The perfection of this dandelion seed head had me awe struck!
The sheer beauty of this natural arrangement…And these poppies, so delicate!
And we think of them as weeds!
That was a truly magic place. If you have grandchildren, or can borrow some, do take them there. Wonderful for scary hide and seek.
One of the pleasures of taking Curiosity on a walk is that you get back full of questions which occupy another happy hour. Looking up the history of the Park on Google I discovered that I had missed an historic Curling Club. It is apparently well hidden behind the Council’s sheds.
Here it is with its preserved and restored Club House. It belongs to Partick Curling Club who traditionally stored their stones there.
The Club had an Ice Master(Peter Schill – recently deceased) who watches for cold weather, floods the rink and if after x days of freezing it is suitable calls members and a match is arranged immediately.
A friend tells me he played there once some 15 years ago but it has never been cold enough since!
Didnt know any of that! Fascinating history and a reflection on the current climate.
PS The walk about took an hour so The Knees weren’t too unhappy and Curiosity was of course enchanted!