Sunday, 9 October 2011

Charlie in Glasgow

Scotland's largest city, my first time visiting it and all in the name of film! And while I may have been fortunate enough to have headed to destinations more far flung in my quest for cinematic superiority, I have a special fondness for the banks of the Clyde. As this was the first place in the UK to broadcast Jay and Kay Save the World! Now it was on hell of a coach trip up to Scotland, overnight, calling at Birmingham and surprisingly, the now under threat Preston Bus Station.

(The South Portland Street Suspension Bridge)

Anyway, on arrival in Glasgow, the first thing I did was head for the Clyde. Like in London, the river defines the city, and the Clyde is a natural navigation point for any lost tourist. The central part of the city lies to the north of the Clyde. The Clyde is one of Britain's most iconic waterways, as it was at the heart of the country's industrial revolution in the 19th Century and was the centre of the nation's ship building.

Back in the centre of town, one of the most striking pieces of the city's architecture is the Central Railway Station. For many visitors to this city, this is probably the first encounter with Glasgow, and what a stunning place this is!

If you decide to wander through the streets, take a jaunt down to Sauchiehall Street. This is one hell of a long road and starts as a pedestrianised route in the centre that takes you past the M8 to parks at the western side of the city. Its character transforms through the city and a walk takes you from a popular high street, through an artistic hub with funky shop fronts before ending in almost suburban serenity...

A trip to Glasgow would have to mention the city's iconic Subway, or Underground System. It has a quirky history, built as a circle line and opened in 1896, it was the third oldest Underground Railway in the world after London and Budapest, but never extended beyond its original route. It is cheap and cheerful, but to be honest, for a tourist like myself, it is a bit useless. It does not really go anywhere that I want to go, plus the city centre is compact enough that walking is an easy option.

Glasgow has an unfair reputation for being the centre of industrial blight, but the city is filled with gorgeous parkland. Glasgow Green is one of the city's best, and on the not-so-warm day that I visited, it provided great views of the Clyde and a relaxing place to rest my weary feet...

One thing to note is the amount of Granite used in the buildings. And also a lot of the city's Victorian architecture remains. There was very little bomb damage during World War II so a lot of the historical core retains it heritage features today. Cast Iron and Weather Worn Stonework pockmark the city. Whether modern or restored, these fine features give Glasgow a character that is distinct from other cities around the UK, particularly ones further south.

(Glasgow Cross)

I cannot end this post without a mention of Haggis. Scotland's proud national dish and scourge of the English, I am a huge fan of Haggis. I had two that day in Glasgow, battered, served with chips and washed down with an Irn Bru. If I lived in Scotland, my life expectancy may well decrease, as I am a big fan of chopped sheep's innards - really, I adore haggis! Any excuse, I will chomp on this delightful food. Don't mock until you have tried it!



1 comment:

magiceye said...

lol! that was quick!

lovely place! would love to visit!