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Welcome to Glasgow

Continued from ….All Aboard

The sun was warm, although the sky was grey; the air reminded me of London, yet the feeling I got from this city was very different.  It was as if when I spoke people softened.

Maybe it was hearing my southern English accent or maybe it was just the way I spoke.  Whatever it was, it was very welcoming.

The train assistant walked me out onto the street beside Glasgow Central station and told me to turn right and then right again at the corner.  To go to the crossing and I would find myself beside the river, from there I should turn right again and walk alongside The Clyde and I would reach The Glasgow Crowne Plaza.

Walking towards the Clyde had another reason; according to google maps, it was where the closest patch of grass was for Fizz to be able to have her breakfast and do ‘her business’ after all I was very aware that she had been on a train for eight hours without any option of relief!

The walk was lovely, calming yet refreshing and i was able to enjoy the varying architecture and engineering of the many different bridges we passed.  (I later discovered just how many bridges there where)

The hotel was sat just after an odd ‘armadillo’ shaped building.  I later discovered this to be The SEC Armadillo (yup that its official name) beside the SSE Hydro, a large exhibition, show and conference space.

Photograph shows the side of The SEC, the building is shaped like an armadillo shell.

While on the other side of the river there was The Glasgow Science Centre, IMAX cinema and The Glasgow Tower.  But given the mix and mismatch of buildings and paving shows how there has been an increase in renovation and regeneration within the area in recent years.

Photograph is taken beside the river Clyde railing, showing across the river with BBC Scotland on the left, with The Glasgow science centre dome shaped building along with The Glasgow tower on the right of the image, The imax cinema can be partly seen in between the bbc building and the science centre

This would do nicely, very nicely as a base to explore from.  Surprisingly even at 8am in the morning my hotel room was ready for me, so instead of just leaving my bag at the hotel, I was able to check in, refresh with a lovely shower and sort myself out read for an adventure.

The hotel was beautiful, with 16 floors I took the opportunity to go upto the very top floor to look at the views (after photographing them and then zooming in) here are just a few of them.

Photograph shows the view of The Glasgow Tower and Science Centre across the river Clyde and a bridge taken from the 16thfloor of the hotel

When initially researching the hotel I had found that there was a train station closer to the hotel, but because this would have been involving walking away from the grass area i had decided against it originally.  However I re-looked at it as a way to get back into the city centre for part of my exploration.

And when I did I discovered not only that the train station was just 3 minutes walk away, but that it was fully accessible over a large dual carriageway thanks to this beautifully designed fully covered in, ramped bridge.

Can you tell that the design geek in me was happy?Photograph of red steel girders of a covered over path and cycle path, showing the red and green paths with an arch over the top which is totally enclosed


Second photograph shows the arch of the red girders forming over the top of the passageway looking down on the ramp with the green and red path for cycles and pedestrians.
The train took me less than 5 minutes to travel back into the center of Glasgow.  Where I quickly found that my google maps was struggling a little because of the high buildings and built up area just like it does in London.

We (Fizz and I) walked for hours, admiring buildings, discovering Glasgow Queen Street station which would be the station I would need to continue my travel later.  And in finding other station just a few moments walk from The Central Station I discovered this beautiful mosaic.

Photograph of Mosaic at Glasgow Queen Street railway station, showing the river cliyde and bridge on the left and the buildings of Glasgow on the left.

I could continue to bore you with photographs from around Glasgow, but actually all I will say is that I walked over 20,000 steps in this beautiful city and saw some amazing buildings along with meeting many MANY many tourists from lots of different countries.

Fizz walked her paws off and she was a superstar for me.  With the odd little ‘mischievous quirk’ when she discovered a near by costa and clearly felt we had walked enough for the moment and walked me quickly to the crossing, causing traffic to stop before I had realised what her plans were …

Who am i to argue with a guide dog?

Stop, refuelled and ready for more…. off we go again.

TO BE CONTINUED …

“Stop rubbing your nose against everyone”

For any dog owners reading this, be it a guide dog, assistance dog or family pet I only have to say one word for you to understand what I am talking about …. HALTI !!

Fizz is a Labrador first and guide dog second.  She is incredibly well trained and it goes without saying that she is fantastic at her job.

But…

She is often led to distraction by the smell of something more interesting, someone greeting a friend, a rough pidgeon or even a leaf!

And this is where her ‘naughty nose’ works so very well.  It enables me to hold more control over her and as a dog is not as strong in their noses as they are in their necks, it allows me to keep her focused on the direction I want her to go.

However……

As a dog, she will take any possible opportunity to get it off her nose!

This means, if I stand still she will rub against my leg, or more embarrassingly; she will use the leg of a stranger.

I have commented before about my love of coffee, a love that Fizz now associates with standing in a queue.

It would just so happen, a queue is the ideal opportunity to rub her nose against strangers.

And she won’t do this at a point on their legs where they can see her.  No, she will sneak behind them and nudge at a point of their legs that will cause the oddest of sensations and some times even fear to them.

Although, this fear is probably greater in the summer months, when a wet nose touches bare flesh!

Yesterday while in such a queue, Fizz introduces herself to a man infront of us.  He was very chatty and would not allow me to apologise for her behaviour.  He joked about how he was wondering about what explanation he would have to offer his wife; thinking he was being propositioned by me, not the daft dog!

We spoke for a few moments while I waited my turn, and when it came to it I ordered my coffee as usual only for the gentleman to offer to pay for it.  I tried to stop him from doing this, but he was rather insistent, he said to think of it as a thank you.  I asked him why he should be saying thank you to me, to which he replied

I am thankful to Fizz, for her enabling me to meet an inspirational young woman who has made me smile at a time of sadness in my family.

I didn’t know what else to say, other than

Your welcome.

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