my first day in Scotland
Glasgow Travel Blog› entry 45 of 68 › view all entries
The next train to Glasgow took me through the sunlit mountains of northern England. Though esthetically pleasing, they were not as green as their Irish counterparts. On the train, I met a nice mother and daughter from Seychelles who later showed me to the Glasgow Tourist Information Centre. In there, I spent 45 minutes planning my tour of Scotland.
Among my first sights in Scotland was the inviting George Square, decorated with banners of tartan. Across the large, open square, proudly stands the magnificent City Chambers building and along the city streets are more statues, monuments, and green copper domes.
The only attraction open past 5:00pm was Glasgow Cathedral (next to Saint Mango Museum of Religious Life and Art) and it was worth the visit. Though the exterior is blackened and gothic looking, the inner structure was extraordinary.
The Euro Hostel is a huge, modern building. My en suite room on the eighth floor was clean and roomy with a reasonably good view.
Out for the evening, I went to Sauchiehall Street where the pubs are most densely clustered, yet still relatively few. I turned into 396 The Bar for a pint of McEwan’s, an excellent Scotch Ale, and soon the musical act began. It was a barrage of horrible cheesy old American soft rock that a man resembling Sinatra sung karaoke-style to a blaring synthesizer. I had some conversation with an English chap who explained to me the geographic nomenclature of the region. From him, I learned that the island composed of Scotland, England, and Wales are collectively Great Britain and the “UK” stands for the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
A couple of local girls (one 27, the other 17) approached me to comment enviously on my wearing of earplugs.
In a nearby Chinese restaurant, we once again ran into the elder of the Scottish girls with her incoherent friend. I remained with them and my fellow countrymen called it a night. Via the aid of the girl’s translation, the Glaswegian fellow offered to give me a ride back to my hostel. As we passed another half-dozen men in kilts, the girl assured me that it is unusual, “they normally only wear them to formal occasions” such as weddings, but that evening they did so in support of the local football team. I had had a lot of fun with my new acquaintances and thanks to the lift made it to bed around 2:00am.