In Glasgow for the afternoon

Letter 15

Glasgow is a stark contrast to the medieval Edinburgh that I’m used to, but a welcome change. My visit to Glasgow on Thursday afternoon offered me sunshine and skyscrapers and I grew quite fond of the Scottish city.

From Edinburgh it’s so easy and cheap to get to Glasgow and I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to visit! On the citylink service run by megabus it takes an hour and a half and only costs £3 each way. It runs every 15 minutes and the buses that I took were very empty which I was grateful for on the rare scorcher of a day that I went on!

Arriving in Glasgow is so different to Edinburgh. I think the first building I saw was bigger than any in Edinburgh. As we walked towards the centre we came to George Square and I felt much more at home. This huge city space with green areas and statues is enclosed by large Georgian buildings and I couldn’t help but smile in the sun as I ate. I found the lions in front of the city council building particularly impressive.

After soaking up the fresh air amongst others enjoying the warmth we headed to the river. I was quite excited to see a river because I’m used to cities being arranged on either sides of a river, and Edinburgh isn’t. This may be why Glasgow feels much more like a city. It reminded me a lot of Newcastle which I also like very much. We walked east towards Glasgow Green, a large park which some wonderful surprises! We took a slow stroll along the central path admiring the huge expanses of Green.

We then came across the People’s Palace and found it comepletely enchanting! From the park you first enter the winter gardens which is a glasshouse containing exotic plants and a small cafe. It has beautiful views out onto the park through the glass and steel architecture which I appreciated very much.

Going through into the actual palace we were greeted by several floors of an exhibition we hadn’t expected to see. It was all about the history of Glasgow and I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around and learning about the city. There were also incredibly detailed displays depicting life during war time in houses, workplaces and shelters. There was even an old shop scene you could look in. I was really impressed and it was completely free!

The People’s Palace sits in front of the Doulton fountain. The exterior is quite spectacular but as the sun was shining down strong behind it, the photos were not good. The fountain did look wonderful though. It is so intricately carved and is in a perfect setting. Here we sat for a while admiring our surroundings and the amazing weather we were lucky to get!

We left the palace with the intention of walking back through the park and going to the Botanic Gardens. These in fact are on the other side of the city and Glasgow is far bigger than you expect when you live in Edinburgh which you can walk around very easily. So instead we got the metro, which was quite a novelty. We arrived at Hillhead Station and walked to the gardens, picking up an ice cream along the way. The gardens completely blew me away. The glasshouses were stunning from the outside and the gardens were dotted with beautifully planted flowers and lots of space for sitting and relaxing. Which we did. It was a lovely atmosphere because everyone was out enjoying the sunshine and we sat for a while.

The glasshouses were open and free to walk around so we had a wonder. Glasgow seems to like it’s glasshouses. They were nicely laid out and we saw some very interesting plants! We also got to experience many different temperatures and levels of humidity – the highest was not so nice.

As it got to dinner time we decided to head back to George Square, and we went by metro. It was still warm so we had a wander around before settling into Pizza Express for food. We sat and relaxed in the restaurant for the rest of the evening and decided we must return to Glasgow! I had gone with my flatmate and we had a great time, and mainly relaxed in the parks because of the weather. I think next time I’ll go alone and spend the day gallery and museum hopping. There is so much to see and do in Glasgow – we barely scratched the surface!

The city impressed me, but it’s no Edinburgh.

From Lou

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