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    Let Glasgow flourish!

    Glasgow Coat of Arms - 2007

    Glasgow Coat of Arms - 2007

    This is the tree that never grew.

    This is the bird that never flew.

    This is the bell that never rang.

    This is the fish that never swam.

    (Traditional rhyme associated with the symbols of Glasgow’s coat of arms)

    Glasgow ! YOUPI, Janice ! YES, let’s go to Glasgow ! You know, I was looking forward to writing about this big welcoming city we do love !  Count on me to give our readers an idea of what “sense of place”  they can get there, but it will take several posts !

    Aerial View of Scotland - 2003

    Aerial View of Scotland - 2003

    Jean-Claude and I landed at Paisley airport on our first journey to Scotland, in June 2000, after a breathtaking fly over the country… our first view of it… the green hills…the lochs… the towns and villages… it was all there, on a most lively map!

    After a turn giving us a bird’s view of the whole area the plane finally began its descent…

    I’ll never forget our first impressions of Scotland… maybe not the kind that would please the amateurs of bright sun and blue sky. Nevertheless, there we were, in Glasgow, dressed as for a beach day at Arcachon, with our maps, our rented car, our luggage, and no idea of what we were going to find on our road in this unknown country.

    City of Glasgow - 2000

    City of Glasgow - 2000

    We had started early in the morning, on a very sunny day, and we arrived in the afternoon in the midst of a very cloudy, windy atmosphere… much traffic and noise, big buildings and a hurrying foreign crowd speaking… hum… what language were they speaking exactly ? Double Dutch for us ! After so many years of English course back to square one… but… it took not long for us to fall under the spell… it was love at first sight… we had heard so many dark things about Glasgow, that “Scottish Chicago”, that it came as a surprise for us to discover a multifaceted, very cheerful and dynamic town. Dark and light for sure, but is not that part of the game in Scotland ?

    No where else have we seen so many people smiling in the rain and always a Glaswegian around to help us each time we were unfolding a map !

    But let us begin with the beginning !

    With about 600,000 inhabitants, Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the third most populated in the United Kingdom. Its name means “dear green place” and its history can be traced back to very ancient times. From its origins when Glasgow was only a tiny village on the bank of the river Clyde to the modern city we know today, there has been a long road. During the 6th century, a holy man appears to have walked on this road, whose life would become linked forever to the city of Glasgow. He was called St Kentigern and is also known as St Mungo, Glasgow’s patron saint. The legends which have surrounded his life gave birth to the colourful coat of arms of the town which we can see everywhere, sometimes together with the famous motto “Let Glasgow flourish”…

    Cathedral Square-Glasgow-2000

    Cathedral Square-Glasgow-2000

    Since our readers must begin to be used to our way of introducing books in our posts let us end with a book. This time I have chosen one we have in our personal library. Its title is Glasgow’s Glasgow. It is a very interesting and rather big book with a lot of illustrations. It was published in 1990, the very same year when Glasgow was chosen as the European City of Culture. Have a good reading ! A bientôt.

    Glasgow's Glasgow -Published by The Words And The Stone-Back Cover

    Glasgow's Glasgow -Published by The Words And The Stone-Back Cover

    Glasgow's Glasgow -Published by The Words And The Stones-1990

    Glasgow's Glasgow -Published by The Words And The Stones-1990



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