The city of good patter, Irn bru, and the spiritual home of Buckfast, where other than the gem that is Glasgow could I be talking about. It was only five months ago that I made the move from my home in the Isle of Raasay, to the city of Glasgow. The reason? to study Journalism.
While going from an island with a population of 160 to the largest city in Scotland, might conjure up an image of some country mouse hick packing up his modest belongings, and going off to join the rat race, I will be sorry to disappoint. As this wasn’t the first time I made this journey, in fact, the first time was when I was 3 and I moved from Glasgow to Raasay. I think I can find something poetic in there if I exaggerate it enough. Returning at the age of 19 to the city where I was born, to study and begin a new chapter in my life, in the same place it all began… Or something like that.
‘People make Glasgow’ it’s the city’s slogan and it’s not a word of a lie. Whether it’s their combination of good conversation, diversity, love for the party, and their beautiful balance of city pride and self-deprecating humour. People truly do make Glasgow. On the whole, they have the ability to make you feel welcome that I’ve not seen anywhere else. Only if you are deserving of it of course, as you will soon find if you come to the city with a chip on your shoulder, then you’ll find no shortage of people who will be willing to sort you out. Of course, there are the well-known divides of religion and football that has plagued the city for many a generation, while not as intense as it was in the past it is certainly not gone. Yet I feel especially today, you will find that the majority of Glaswegians will accept nearly anyone. No matter your background, religion, orientation or ideals, as long as you follow the core parts of Glaswegian society, have good craic, and don’t be a fanny.
One thing that particularly ticks me off when I hear some people talk about Glasgow, is that it’s an unattractive place. This I find is a tell-tale sign that, that persons never seen much of Glasgow (and is probably from Edinburgh). The city is vibrant and beautiful. It could be the beautiful west end tenements that seem as though they were designed to soak up the sun with heavenly effects, or the fascinating and diverse architecture you will find all about town. It still amazes me that I can pass a building a hundred times here and still find some new detail I never noticed before.
Whenever I chat to tourists who seem to think the only place there is to visit in Scotland is Edinburgh, I always advise getting out and exploring more of what Scotland has to offer. I make a point to mention places closer to home and to visit Glasgow. As while Edinburgh is undoubtedly beautiful, and the capital of the country. In my opinion, Glasgow is the cultural capital of Scotland.
The city has a great food, music, and nightlife scene. Coming from a place where the nearest take away is a ferry and a bus ride away, you can imagine my excitement of having the city excess. Too much of my student loan has already been “invested” in drinks and spoons banquets. And when something more intellectual tickles your fancy then you have a wide array of choices when it comes to museums and art galleries. One of the best and certainly not an eyesore, is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The building is a work of art in its self and houses a varied collection of exhibits and displays, but most importantly of all, it’s free admission.
Or if a trip to the cinema is what you are after then why not pop into the tallest cinema in the world: Cineworld on Renfrew Street. I used to love going to that building. As a child visiting Glasgow with my father begging him to go, if I succeeded in wearing him down enough to let us, excitement would be building to see what floor our film was on – always wanting to reach the top someday. Now I just quite like to queue at the inside bar to get that pint that will get me through the adverts.
You can’t go wrong with a visit to some of Glasgow’s parks, with my halls being right next door to Kelvingrove park allows me to easily wander along it on a nice day. The changing of the seasons have been particularly nice to witness. Watching the autumn colours take full effect has been one of the top scenic highlights of Glasgow so far. I am biased of course as Autumn has always been one of my favourite seasons. The mixed pallet of yellow, orange, brown and green, shimmering in the sunlight that still holds a fragment of the summer warmth, there are few things I find as inviting as an empty bench among the autumn leaves.
And when bonfires night game round I ventured once again to Kelvin grove park, hoping for a better vantage point of the chaotic display of lights, whizzing, and bangs of Aldi’s very own fireworks. It was exciting, to say the least, from the amateur family displays to the pseudo professionals who show up with their wooden box full of explosive material – trying to prove a point to someone. There were of course the occasional bam power group out to fire at anything that moved; watching them I couldn’t help but have David Attenborough narrate in my head, of Chimpanzees discovering fire for the first time.
On the whole, I am thoroughly enjoying my time in Glasgow. It is a great city and a place I am sure I will get up to plenty of adventures. So, until anything of note comes along, goodbye for now.