Wednesday 25 September 2019

Scotland 2019 part 8 ~ A day in Glasgow

Our final full day in Scotland was spent in the beautiful City of Glasgow. For decades the city had a reputation for poverty, crime, social issues and over-crowding, but today Glasgow is a clean, vibrant, cultured and trendy location which now openly attracts students and visitors from all over the world.

During my apprenticeship years of the late 1970’s, I attended two colleges in the city. It was a time when the Glasgow was not particularly pleasing to the eye and the air was thick with diesel fumes. During those days while walking from the grubby Central (train) Station to college, my eyes never really left ground level, the magnificent Glasgow architecture was barely noticeable under the grime of that time.
Today with enormous pride, I can boast it is not difficult to see how Glasgow has completely transformed itself; it is a beacon of how change can happen and reputations reversed.

We started our day at the Glasgow City Chambers, an eminent example of Victorian civic architecture, the building was constructed between 1882 and 1888 with materials from all over Scotland and the world.

After the magnificence of the City Chamber’s, we wandered around the city, taking our eyes well above ground level to admire just some of the beautiful buildings which today makes Glasgow such an attractive and appealing city.

The statue of the Duke of Wellingston in Royal Exchange Square with a traffic cone on his head, it has now become a permanant feature and tourist attraction

Not the Tardis, but an old Police Box in Buchanan Street, it is used as a shop during the summer months

We departed the city via the Central Station; originally opened on 1 August 1879, it currently serves just under 33 million passengers a year and is the twelfth-busiest railway station in Britain and the busiest in Scotland. During the early 2000’s the station was completely refurbished and now looks absolutely wonderful.

The famous meeting place ~ Under the Clock"

Well that was a little bit of “Scotland 2019”, now the Westjet aircraft awaited us …

All that is left to say, is an old Scottish toast, lightly ironic in its tone, but reflecting quite a strong sense of Scottish specialness ~ 

"Here's tae us. Wha's like us? Damn few, and they're a'deid."

Haste Ye Back ….

Scotland 2019 part 7 ~ The Village

My home town is East Kilbride, it is the largest town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland and the country's 6th largest settlement, it was designated as Scotland's first new town on 6 May 1947. The town lies on a raised plateau to the south of the Cathkin Braes, about 8 miles southeast of Glasgow and close to the boundary with East Renfrewshire.

The location was previously the site of the small village of East Kilbride, prior to its post-war development into the present-day new town. The old village still survives and thrives today as an integrated part of the new East Kilbride.

The Montgomerie Arms, as an old coaching inn it dates back to 1656

The Loupin-on Stane sits outside the Montgomerie Arms, put in place centuries ago to allow people to easily climb onto their horses or into coaches.

The Old Parish Church opened in 1774 is located next door to the Montgomeries Arms. It is where I was christened on Sunday August 27th 1961 by the Rev. Walter Reid

A statue of Sir Walter Scott erected here in 1871, it is not uncommon for his head to go missing ...!!!!

The barbers, where I had my first haircut and all others until I left Scotland in 1987

Next ~ Scotland 2019 part 8 ~ "A day in Glasgow”

Scotland 2019 part 6 ~ Largs and Nardini's

For many years Largs on the Firth of Clyde in North Ayrshire coast was always a favourite family day out. It has many attractions, the scenery, sea fishing, the shops and the lovely promenade walks, but for most folks the word Largs is almost synonymous with the word Nardini’s.
Largs Nardini Café can trace its origins back to 1890, that was the year Tuscan-born Pietro Nardini arrived with his family in Scotland. It was eventually in 1935 that the now famous café, restaurant & ice cream parlour opened in a landmark art deco building on the Largs waterfront ~ always a must when visiting the town.
The Classic Nardini Cafe with its beautiful surroundings and panoramic views of the Firth of Clyde made it a perfect backdrop for Fish & Chips and a Knickerbocker Glory …

I have more about Largs in a blog from last month ~ “Closing the door, turning the key and a drive to Largs” ~ see ...

Next ~ Scotland 2019 part 7 ~ "The Village”