Last weekend, EuroTalk was in Glasgow for the Language Show Live. And – don’t tell our boss! – we almost didn’t come back.
That’s because Glasgow is the best place in the world. Full stop. End of discussion. We loved it, and here are our reasons why:
1) Everyone is enormously friendly
I know that sounds like a bit of a generalisation, but seriously: every single person we met, from the train manager to the taxi drivers to the hotel staff to the Hibs football fans in the pub, to all the people we talked to at the Show – all of them were so friendly. Being used to the anonymity of London, where you’re lucky to make eye contact with people on the street, this was a very welcome change. One of our taxi drivers took us on an impromptu tour of the city centre, pointing out interesting (if sometimes dubious) architectural facts, and even the show’s bagpiper was happy to visit our stand for a photo:
2) The food is amazing
We didn’t even need to do any research on where to eat – just flopped out of the show each day and into the nearest pub, restaurant or cafe. The West End is famed for its great places to eat out, but as we were staying central, we took a chance in the centre of town and got lucky every time, as Glasgow is riddled with wonderful nooks and quirky bars to grab a bite or a drink in. I think our collective favourite was The Butterfly and The Pig, a bustling, cosy basement pub which offered warming food and comfy sofas at the end of a very long day. With the obligatory pint of Belhaven Best, of course.
3) The Central Station
It’s been a longstanding dream of mine to one day stay in the hotel in Glasgow’s Central Station. I’ve no idea what the hotel is like, but from the outside you imagine waking up in the mornings and looking out over the glass and dark wood interior of the station, with trains departing on early morning journeys. We weren’t staying there, of course, but we did arrive and leave from the stunning Central Station and what better introduction to the city could you hope for?
To be fair, as we were mostly inside the SECC, we didn’t visit any cultural icons, but then that’s all the more reason to go back again. Just walking down the Clyde between the Transport Museum and the BBC, with the Hydro to your side, and sneaking a peak at the School of Art and the Rennie Mackintosh street lamps spilling onto the street, then savouring a cup of tea in the Willow Tea Rooms and walking past the Tenement House, gives you a brief introduction to the depth of culture going on in this city. And that’s without mentioning the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Burrell Collection, The Hunterian, The Lighthouse…
Maybe it sounds a bit corny, but partly because we were there for the Language Show and everyone who attends the language show tends to be hugely enthusiastic about languages, we really did get a massively positive boost from being in Glasgow. Added to that, the show was also a forum for discussion of Scotland’s new Curriculum for Excellence and Primary 1 + 2 policy on languages, so there was a lot of enthusiasm about the exciting new path Scotland’s eduction system is taking. This country seems to have it all sussed out!
So thanks to Glasgow for making three slightly exhausted ladies feel very much at home – we can’t wait to see you again soon!