Friday 6th April 2012
The day was not the best weather-wise, however, we still took the ferry from Dunoon across to Gourock and the train into Glasgow. Time was running out once again so we had to just keep going. Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and sits by the River Clyde, it also has the largest seaport in Britain. The population of the City of Glasgow area peaked in the 1950s at 1,089,000 people. Since the 1840s to present day, large numbers of Irish immigrants have settled and contributed to the city. At one point only New York City had a bigger Irish expatriate population than Glasgow. Huge numbers of Scottish Highlanders also migrated to the city as a result of the Highland Clearances.
We were often told of the Glaswegian dialect, otherwise known as the Glasgow patter which is more than an alternative pronunciation. Words also change their meaning as all over in Scotland, e.g. "away" can mean "leaving" as in A
A speaker of Glaswegian might refer to those originating from the Scottish Highlands and the Western Isles as teuchters, while they would reciprocate by referring to Glaswegians as keelies and those from the East of Scotland refer to Glaswegians as Weegies (or Weedgies).
The TV drama Taggart and the comedies Empty, Chewin' the Fat, Rab C. Nesbitt, Still Game and Dear Green Place depict the Glaswegian patois, while Craig Ferguson and Billy Connolly have made Glaswegian humour known to the rest of the world. We became very aware quite quickly that we could hardly understand a word they were saying especially as we travelled closer to Glasgow on the train.
We took the open top bus tour around Glasgow once again only this time sitting down below which was not as much fun but of course we had to, it was too cold to be up top. We started off in Goerge Square, passed by the Glasgow Cathedral, The Barras weekend market, Radisson Blu Hotel just to name a few, there are 22 stops in all. The tour was quite long and great value at eleven pound less the discount from the last bus top tour less senior cits rate. We could have done the tour for two days hopping on and off on the ticket, as I said great value, taking 1.45 hours to complete compared with others at an hour. The commentary was by Neil Oliver the renowned Scottish archaeologist, historian, author and broadcaster. By this time my ears were starting to not enjoy the earplugs, next time we will buy a set of ear phones each !
Our return journey was a little colourful. A group of young lads hopped on the train and travelled a few stops without paying. The guard turned a blind eye, they were obviously well known trouble makers and he was not about to get himself into strife which sadly is what they wanted. The guard looked quite old as well. The lads started talking extremely loudly and very rudely about people on the train especially a commuter with an enormous back pack and a rather strange hat. As this bloke got up to get off they said something to him which he could not understand and luckily they did not take it any further, he just went about what he was doing without any trouble. They were teasing him about his back pack....thankfully they got off fairly soon and we were left with a better environment to go back to Dunoon. The trip over and back took us about 3 hours and 3 hours in Glasgow city, one of the longer journeys we have made into a city so far. Glasgow is supposed to have the best shopping and has a wonderful botanic gardens, Art Gallery, School of Art, Theatres and the Royal Concert Hall. Sadly we would not be able to experience any of these, we were aware that we could not do everything so were content with what we did see of the city.