Sunday, 20 April 2008


The time I had the opportunity to spend in Glasgow was very little comparing to the size of the city, so the first impression I got remained the conclusive. Until maybe next time...

I traveled from London by train. The trip was not short, roughly 5-6 hours. My first contact with anything Scottish was when the train crew changed as we headed North and suddenly I started to understand almost none of the announcements! Hail the Scottish accent!

Arriving at Glasgow the firth thing I saw was the Central Rail Station (dah!).

The Central Station

Glasgow is the largest city of Scotland, but not its capital, that is Edinburgh.The central pedestrian commercial street, Buchanan street, is full of shops, malls and as you can see, people! Without doubt, one of the busiest parts of the city!

Buchanan street

Buchanan street

The church of St George at Buchanan street.

St George Church

In the end of Buchanan street we see the Royal Concert Hall.

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Nearby there is the central square of Glasgow, George square, with the City Chambers.

City Chambers at George square

... and the Gallery of Modern Art, which I visited but just briefly.

Gallery of modern art

A bit far away is Glasgow's Cathedral, also called St Mungo's Cathedral, of the Church of Scotland. In the square in front of it we see a statue of David Livingstone, a Scottish explorer.

St Mungo's Cathedral

Before leaving, I tried a tea at the famous Willow Tearooms, which are designed from the well known Scottish architect and designer Mackintosh, at Buchanan street. They are in business since 1903 (not that particular tearoom though). The variety of teas is stunning.

Willow tearooms

Pay attention in the chairs. They are also designed by Mackintosh himself.

Inside willow tearooms

By the way, Bank of Scotland has its own banknotes, in different multiple designs. They have the same trading value as the English ones.

Scottish banknotes

I hope I will have in the future the chance to visit Glasgow again and explore it more thoroughly.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Canterbury and Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury is one of the most famous tourist destinations in England.

The Canterbury Pilgrim

It is a city in eastern Kent, in the South East England. It's a rather small city, populated by 40-45 thousand people, and it's well known for its Cathedral. Canterbury is the seat of the Archbishop of the English Church (titled as the Archbishop of Canterbury) and it has been the destination of pilgrims for centuries.

The relationship of the town with Christianity goes very deep in time. Its first Archbishop was St Augustine of Canterbury, who was sent from Rome in 6th century to lay the foundations of the English Church. The Abbey of Augustine as well the Cathedral and the St Martin's Church - England's oldest parish church in continuous use - are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

An important year for the Canterbury Cathedral and the English Christian Church in general is 1170. The Archbishop at that time, Thomas Becket, was murdered in the Cathedral just before the evensong by knights of King Henry II. Thomas Becket has been in the past a King's Chancellor but when he became an Archbishop the conflicts with the King began. After his murder, Thomas Becket was seen as a martyr by the Christians all over Europe and was canonized by Pope just three years later.

And now it's time for some photos.

Entering the town center from the west side, we see the Westgate Tower.

Westgate Tower

The high street, full of shops, cafes, restaurants, stalls with ice creams and sausages, musicians etc.

Canterbury High Street

At Canterbury's High Street

At Canterbury's High Street

First view of the Cathedral. You can see the tall bell tower from miles away.

Canterbury Cathedral's Bell Tower

Heading towards the Cathedral we reach the Christchurch Gate.

Christchurch Gate

Christchurch Gate

And then you just admire the enormity and the architecture of the Cathedral.

Canterbury Cathedral

Taking photographs inside the Cathedral is allowed, except for inside the Crypt.

The Nave.

Canterbury Cathedral's Nave

The sculptured and painted Medieval pulpit.

The pulpit

The Martyrdom, the exact point where Thomas Becket was murdered.

The Martyrdom

The Bell tower viewed from inside.

Vaulting of the Bell Tower

The bronze eagle-shaped lectern and behind the Alter and St. Augustine's throne.

The brass lectern and High Altar

The Cathedral has lots of impressive stained glass windows, some of them of historical value. Below you can see one of them. In the last row, the one in the middle, shows Adam (Adam Delving) is dated back in 1176 AD and is one of the oldest stained glasses in Great Britain. Click to see in more detail.

Stained glass

In the west side there are two stained glass windows with quite different style. It reminded me some... cartoons.

Stained glass

And in detail...

Detail of stained glass

The Cathedral tends to host cultural events like concerts. Here a youth Orchestra is rehearsing... It should be amazing performing in a place like that...

Orchestra in Canterbury Cathedral

You can see more of my photos from the trip to Canterbury in flickr.

Information: Canterbury Cathedral, wikipedia.

Hello world!

Some things about me to know us better...

You may have already noticed that the name I use is Γκρινιάρης. Actually it's not a name but a nick name. It' s a Greek word (you may have guessed from the weird characters), as I myself is Greek, meaning grouchy, grumpy. It's also the Greek name of Grouchy Smurf, which I use as an avatar.

I have been a blogger since summer 2006 (I think), and I have been writing a greek blog titled Grouchy for life (Γκρινιάρης μιας ζωή).

Why Grouchy Traveller? Well, it's simple. As a character I am pretty grumpy, most of the times for a reason, especially when things don't go as planned (by myself!) or as they should! And I enjoy traveling a lot! Whether it is a day trip by car or train, or it's a trip abroad. Or even a trip in my own city! After all, what is best than having the chance to see the city you live in as a tourist!

In this blog I plan to write mostly about trips and journeys, which I hope you enjoy and why not, maybe find useful for future reference! But you never know when I will find an opportunity to nag! They call me grouchy for a reason!

Little Venice