AWAY TRIP REVIEW: SCOTLAND, SEPTEMBER 2022
The Second City of the Empire, Glasgow is very hilly, chilly and, other than the areas surrounding Glasgow Central, seemingly deserted. It also rivals Dublin in the lack of rail transport from the airport into town.
Went to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum specifically to see Dali’s Christ of St. John of the Cross painting, only to find it’s currently out on loan, though there were still some fine Matisses, Van Goghs and Rembrandts on show. The Zaha Hadid-designed Riverside Museum was also worth a look. The Celtic Park tour was unsurprisingly sold out for the whole weekend.
Gruff, down to earth and open. Not at all like the drunken troublemaker stereotype. Absolutely none of the Tartan Army I met support either of the Old Firm teams. But they’re a hardy bunch, many of them wearing just a kilt and short-sleeved jersey despite the plunging temperatures at night.
Dined almost exclusively at branches of Blue Lagoon chippies. Not just due to above average fish suppers (and being open ‘til 5am on weekends), but also because they had the infamous Scottish foods; the just-about-edible fried Mars Bar was a too sweet hot chocolate dessert. And the fried haggis was essentially a crumbly battered sausage.
…Not very good is it, Tennents? Bars around Glasgow Central were packed out by 11am on matchday, but were still convivial spots to meet up. Drinking in the streets was an absolute no-no.
Hampden Park was rocking at kick-off. A fine stadium with all the modern facilities and unimpeded views of the pitch. Nonetheless it somehow still felt like a shadow of its former self. Hampden Park used to hold 120,000 spectators. But now its capacity is less than half that.
The Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington outside the Gallery of Modern Art is the unofficial symbol of Glasgow because it always has a traffic cone on its head. Symbolic of Glaswegian humour, whenever the cone is removed by Glasgow City Council, another one is mysteriously back on the statute’s head within days.