The final part of my diary/travelogue/waytorememberitinyearstocome, recording a couple of weeks spent travelling around Europe, shooting mostly black and white film.
Previous instalments are here:
Part 1 – Cossington, UK – Wioska, PL – Bratislava, SK
Part 2 – Bratislava, SK – Orosháza, HU – Szeged, HU – Cossington, UK
Part 3 – Cossington – Newcastle
Part 4 – Newcastle to Perth
Part 5 – Perth to Dundee
Part 6 – Unprecedented Concrete
Part 7 – Ullapool to Ullapool
Part 8 – Ullapool to Glasgow
After a decent breakfast in McClay’s, we took a walking tour of the city. It was the ‘Auld Firm’ derby (Rangers Vs Celtic) at noon and so every bar, and many of the shops, had security doormen from about 9.
We wandered the Merchant City, the Necropolis, along the Clyde to the ‘ski-jumps’, the bridge to nowhere, stopping off for coffee at The Lighthouse , the Rennie-MacKintosh newspaper building now converted into a creative architecture and design centre.
Glasgow is architecturally eclectic and seems to have had many phases of development, each at odds with the previous. It’s scruffy. Our visit was a Saturday morning, but it had the feel of a place constantly waking up with a hangover.
All reasons why I liked it a lot!
The urban motorway is ridiculous. There is no thought in the city for any other form of travel than the motorcar. Huge space is given over to tarmac with upto 16 lanes of traffic carving right through the city centre, right through people’s living space. Away from the motorways, making progress on foot is difficult with priority always with the traffic and little pedestrian infrastructure.
Along the way we found a some fantastic mural and street art (there’s a ‘Street Art Trail’ for next time). It was interesting to see how well respected the work was with no graffiti or ‘modifications’, quite different to the way that it’s treated in Poalnd.
The picture above and the two below show work by Australian artist, SMUG. Since marvelling at these magnificent, photorealistic pieces in Glasgow, he has produced another in Leicester, my home town. More of that in a future post.
We collected the car minutes before the parking vouchers expired and after a quick tour of the Clydeside docks and SCC Hydro, headed south and were home 7 hours later.
On the way, Iain pointed out the transition from the North to the Midlands, the Cheshire/Staffordshire border, and the same sense of unease came over us both.
We turned off the motorway and stopped for fuel in Stoke, or Brexitland as we know it. We were greeted by a depressing vision of tanning salons and vaping shops, litter, fast food and intolerance. Given the beauty of previous days, our return to this mundane familiarity was jarring. Iain and I ran out of things to say to one another, both in the same funk.
Over the previous week, the radio had been a constant companion. During the trip, either live or on iPlayer, the serendipity of Nemone’s perfect electronic soundtrack as we drove along the west coast, or the seemingly constant references to Kenny, Jonny and the Fife scene had been a perfect accompaniment to the journey.
Back home after unpacking, the shipping forecast came on the radio, and I could now put a place to those familiar, exotic names…