Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: statue

Public sculptures in Glasgow

Having written a post about bizarre sculptures in Oslo, I thought I’d follow it up with one about the public sculptures in Glagsow. This one had been planned for a while, as I had been taking photos of public sculptures that I encountered when I was living in Glasgow. You may have read some of the rather old posts about the murals in Glasgow, but this will perhaps be the only one about public sculptures, as I don’t live in Glasgow anymore 😦 Still missing Glasgow and Scotland till this day, three years after I’d left!

Located in front of the Gallery of Modern Art in the city centre, the Duke of Wellington (sculptor: Carlo Marochetti) is arguably the most famous sculpture in Glasgow and is the subject of an ongoing joke, where a traffic cone is placed on the head of the duke. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the duke WITHOUT his cone hat. Not exactly sure where the humour originated but hey, I think the orange cone looks quite good on him, wouldn’t you agree? 😉 Lookin’ sharp, even in the rain!

The story of the two following sculptures can be found here. First, Lobey Dosser (sculptors: Tony Morrow and Nick Gillon): “Believed to be the world’s only two-legged equestrian statue, it shows Sheriff Lobey Dosser and his arch-nemesis Rank Bajin riding Lobey’s faithful steed, El Fideldo, or Elfie as she is known.” These are characters in the works of Bud Neill, a Scottish cartonnist popular in the mid-20th century. The sculpture was on Woodlands Road when I took this photo but some time later, when I passed by the same spot, it had been removed. Maybe the sheriff was off to some new adventure elsewhere in the city…

Another one of Bud Neill’s characters, G.I. Bride (sculptor: Ranald MacColl), stands at Partick train station in the West End. This lady carrying a baby was a war bride who married an American GI and went to the USA, and she’s seen here trying to hitch a ride back home to Partick. I found the story quite touching, and I’m glad they made it back home!

Mary and Magdeleine – The sculpture of Mary and Martha in The Sisters of Bethany (sculptor: Joh Warrington Wood) is one of the fine works of art found in the greenhouses at the Botanic Gardens in the West End. What struck me in particular were the fine details on the sisters’ dresses and in their hair.

The sculpture of Wincher’s Stance (sculptor: John Clinch) at Buchanan bus station was probably my favourite one out of all of the ones posted here. It seems to tell the story of a passionate reunion between two lovers after some time apart. It is more than fitting that such a representation should be found at a train or bus station, a place of many departures and arrivals, separations and reunions.

This is the sculpture out of all of the ones on the list that I knew the least about, and only with some extensive digging on the Internet did I find its name – The Govan Milestone (sculptor: Helen Denerley). I saw it one day as I was wandering around Govan. More information about this sculpture can be found here and here.

The three famous Scottish men portrayed here (confirmed on this web site) are, from left to right, scientist James Watt, trade unionist Jimmy Reid, and mountaineer Tom Weir (there’s a sculpture of him in Balmaha, near the starting point of the Conic Hill walk).

Rise by Andy Scott, creator of the Kelpies. Somehow the angle from which I took this photo made it look like the “wings” of the lady were slanted, whereas if you looked at her from a direct frontal view, they were more or less horizontal. It got me confused for a while and I even wondered if this was actually Rise

Located in the city centre, Citizen Firefighter (sculptor: Kenny Hunter) commemorates the brave firefighters who have served and fought for the city of Glasgow.

Side view of Diagram of an Object (sculptor: Dhruva Mistry) in front of the Hunterian Art Gallery, next to the University of Glasgow library. What is it exactly? Well that’s up to anyone to interpret, I suppose, and that’s why the “object” isn’t named. At first glance it looked like some sort of chair, but it gradually turned into an abstract image of a parent embracing a child. Do you see what I see?

When I saw the Clyde Clock (sculptor: George Wyllie) outside the Buchanan bus station I thought…somebody must be running out of time! Perhaps that’s why it was there, to remind people running late to hurry up so they don’t miss their bus!

A little something different for this final one – not a sculpture in the traditional sense but one that must have been created purely out of spontaneity. It snowed heavily in Glasgow only once during the 2016 winter season (in January), and someone brought to life this little guy, whom I encountered on my way home. It was a pity that his lifespan was perhaps only one night, but I was glad to have met him before he disappeared 🙂

The fountains of Bern

If Bratislava was the city of statues, then Bern would be the city of fountains. Well, of statues too, since each fountain was guarded by a statue. As I walked through the old town of Bern, I started noticing them on every street, standing in the middle as if observing every passerby. I also saw them labeled on a map of the city, spread out around Bern in various corners and intersections. So, let me introduce you to some fountains of Bern and their guardians that I have had the chance to meet.

First up, the Anna-Seiler-Brunnen (or Anna Seiler Fountain). She stands in the middle of Marktgasse, the main street running through Bern, and represents the founder of the first hospital of the city.

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Two weeks in China, part 3: Guangzhou, my hometown

This turned out to be more of a personal reflection post rather than a travel log, and so doesn’t have a lot of pics. For the photo album, click here.

So then, the second and last stop during my trip to China was undoubtedly that place so dear to my heart – my hometown, Guangzhou, or Canton, as known to some of you perhaps.

As soon as I knew about the conference in Chengdu, I started to think about making a trip to Guangzhou afterwards, just for a week. I mean, if I were already in China, it only makes sense to visit my hometown. And I’ve never been back to China without dropping by Guangzhou. So the request for an extra week off was made, granted, and I was off.

This is the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall situated near my grandpa’s house. I remember being here with my aunt when I was very young, cluelessly pointing at the statue of Sun Yat-Sen, asking, “What is this thing?” What I find funny till this day is that I didn’t even as WHO it was, but WHAT it was. Did I not clearly see that it was a man?

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Ghent, the better Bruges

What’s that? Annie went to Ghent and preferred it over Bruges?

Yes, I finally went. I’ve been saying I wanted to go to Ghent for the longest time, yet after two stays in Louvain-la-Neuve, it still escaped me. Most of the time it’s due to laziness that I skip out on trips. I mean, it’s a winter weekend and all you want to do is snuggle in the warmth of your bed in the morning instead of venturing out in the cold! I often give in to the temptation of sleeping in while forgetting that the joys of travelling and wandering are just a tug of an eye away.

And indeed, when you overcome the fatigue and drag your stubborn body out of bed, it only takes about 5 minutes to shake your head awake. Then you get dressed, fling your bag onto your back, leave the door behind for a day, and dive into a whole new world. Then when you see the beauty of the world in front of your eyes, you wonder why you were ever too tired to explore.

Ghent is, as best as I can put it, too beautiful to miss. Most people would want to see Bruges if they even stop by Belgium during their Eurotrips, but boy, Ghent tops Bruges in my book. I wasn’t a fan of Bruges when I visited last April, and truthfully, I don’t think I give Bruges enough credit. Ghent, however, deserves all of my recommendation for those planning to visit Belgium. It is as underrated a city as Belgium is as a country for travel.

I had the same problem with Ghent in terms of its name as I did in Bruges, only this time, it’s even more complicated. (Of course, Ghent is also in Flanders, the Flemish region of Belgium.) You see, Bruges is the same in French and English, and is only spelt “Brugge” and pronounced differently in Flemish. Ghent, being the English spelling, is “Gent” in Flemish and “Gand” in French. I’m actually still unsure about its pronunciation; I believe in English, it’s “gent” with the “g” sounding like “girl”. In French it’s more like “gone” without the ending “n” sound. (I’m no linguistic expert and I probably explained that very poorly…)

Onto the trip: before I visited I did some research to find out what I should see and do, and one of the things that I was determined to do was stay until the sun has gone down, as night in Ghent was supposedly stunning. Arriving in Ghent at around noon, that meant I had about 7 hours to spend in the city, assuming that it gets completely dark by around 18:30 and I take the 19:24 train. Let’s see how that worked out. (Full picture album here.)

The first thing I noticed when I got off the tram at Korenmarkt (Ghent town centre) were these strange dancing statues on top of a building. I realized afterwards that Ghent is filled with these figures on rooftops all around the city, and that became one of the things I really liked about Ghent.

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