Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Things about Glasgow

As seen from Kelvingrove park

Things are going well here for us. I am insanely busy with school and am only going to be getting busier and busier as this month goes on. I have tons of stuff due at the end of March and early April along with a big practical exam. But I have started early so hopefully I will be able to keep up with the regular workload and manage to complete these essays and projects and just generally stay on top of everything.


Glasgow’s alright. Still haven’t seen the rainy Scotland we’ve been promised, but we aren’t complaining! When it does rain though there is usually a lot of wind that goes along with it so it feels like its raining a lot harder than it really is, but it usually lets up pretty fast, people just wait under doorways when it rains. I think we are too Canadian to do that though, we just put our gortex on and march through… although I think we must stick out cause no one else has gortex.  The people who do venture out into the rain are carrying umbrellas and they are constantly fighting with them as the wind keeps turning them inside-out! I honestly wonder why they even bother, its just one more annoyance, they’re getting soaked anyways, might as well put the umbrella away… hehehe


One fun thing about walking around here is crossing the roads. Well one aspect of it anyways, have to watch out for cars or they’ll run you over, they speed up when they see you, no joke. But at the cross-walks, when it’s the pedestrians turn to cross no cars can move, so you can cross the road diagonally! I don’ t know why, but I think that’s super fun! I try and do it whenever I can :)  … hehehehe


Have gone on a few walks around the city, looking for green-space and parks with trees… Went to one which was pretty disappointing but the neat thing there was the dry ski slope we unexpectedly found. Basically, it’s a small hill, maybe 100m long, max 200m, that is covered by a mesh of really big tooth-brush bristles.  People are all decked out in their snow gear (even though there is no snow, and beneath the mesh is grass) and snowboards and skis. There was even a T-bar that pulled people to the top of this hill. It was so interesting, we just stood there and watched for the longest time. I guess it’s good to learn on, cause the mesh makes you go so slowly, or for practicing year round. But really, once you hit a certain level of skiing ability I would thing it would be really boring, 4 turns and you’re at the bottom!  There was even a little bunny hill with a different sort of material over the grass, this time not mesh-like, just a sheet with smaller bristles on it, you went even slower on that. We were really tempted to try (so we could say we had skied on snow, sand, and tooth-brush bristles), but you could only buy day tickets and we didn’t think that was worth it for one or two times down the slop. I think we would have gotten bored fast. I would imagine that surface is really bad for the bases of your skis/board though. And that mesh covering is just asking for some really nasty thumb injuries or scrapes if your jacket rides up if you fall. Really neat idea though.


Managed to find a really nice park the other week. Its about an hours walk from our place. Really nice, almost like a mini endowment lands (for you Vancouver folk).  Nice to find a foresty place. Walked around there for a few hours and then followed a path along the Kelvin River all the way back to our place, really pretty walk and on a sunny day too!!! We’ve actually been having quite a few sunny days these days, it’s very nice and unlike what we’ve heard about Scotland. Enjoying the sun!


Went to Edinburgh at the beginning of February and met up with some friends of ours who were visiting from Vancouver. Had a very nice lunch with them and it was very nice to see some familiar faces! Roamed around Edinburgh after but it was raining (the most rain we’ve seen so far) and we got soaked (maybe it just rains more in Edinburgh) so we ended up cutting the trip short and heading back to Glasgow.


Our next trip to Edinburgh will be biking along the River from Glasgow to Edinburgh! Apparently there’s a path that goes along the river and the ride is nice. So we just have to figure out where to rent some bikes, I have to be able to afford a day of no studying and then off we go. Probably won’t happen for a while though. Two people from my class are interested in doing it too so that should be a fun little day trip! Lots to see on the way I’m sure.


Our apartment is right over a bar so we are never without entertainment on weekends. Lots of drunken Scots in the streets, some singing and acting silly, seen quite a few fights (verbal and physical), and saw someone get hit by a car last weekend, she was fine though (ambulance came, most likely a broken leg).


My dad has a conference in Glasgow at the end of March so he and my mom are heading over for a couple weeks. They’ve extended their trip to very conveniently overlap with my one week break in April. Super excited to see them! I can’t wait, but I have to try to concentrate on work. The 4 of us are heading to Southern Spain for a week. Neither Tony nor I have ever been anywhere in Europe so we are very excited about the trip! It’ll be another chance for Tony to practice his Spanish :)  Looking forward to relaxing!!!



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