1.- Glasgow, Welcome to Glasgow (Scotland)


Welcome to Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. The city of Glasgow has mediaeval roots and began as a small village situated close to the River Clyde. The 17th and 18th centuries found Glasgow a prosperous hub of activity as merchants sailed the seas and brought back wealth based on tobacco and cotton Alas, in the late 19th century and into the 20th century Glasgow became known as a city of squalor, slums and filth. Steel mills, coal mines and factories belched out their fumes, polluting the air into a thick coat which corroded the health of its citizens and also stained and tarnished the buildings whose elegant architecture would lay hidden. And the River Clyde, once the backbone of trade and revenue where ocean liners such as the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were built, was stagnant with empty cartons of curry and fish suppers now its ships. Something had to be done. Town planners in the 1960's and 1970's had visions of clearing the slums and replacing them with tall, box-like structures known as high-rises, but these visions, although fulfilled were to prove short-term and inappropriate. These in turn have been torn down and more appealing residences constructed. Buildings in the city center have been sand-blasted, cleansed of the grime to reveal their architectural gems. What was once thought to be merely old has been reclaimed as part of our history, and the city has leapt forward embracing not only the present, but the future - a future with solid roots that the most important commodity of all, the people, stimulate. Glasgow is vibrant.

Queen Street Station is where you'll be if you're traveling by train to/from the north, such as Aberdeen or to/from the east, such as Edinburgh. Trains run regularly and are usually on time! It's only a 45 minute train ride to Edinburgh, by the way. Local trains go through Queen Street too. My mother catches the train at Alexandra Parade and arrives in Queen Street in about ten minutes. Smashing. She's 86 and loves her jaunts "into the town". Adjacent to the station is the subway, another way to travel around the city. Lots of buses are also available with service throughout Glasgow. The airport bus can be found a few blocks away at Buchanan Street Bus Station. If you're interested in taking a tour of the city step outside the station onto George Square where you will find the tour buses.

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