Meet Bianca, one of our wonderful guides, as she recalls her experience of going from tourist to tour guide and falling in love with the City of Glasgow.
Servus and hello, dear Reader and future Glasgow fan!
My name is Bianca, aka Highland Trotter (I wanted to have a cool nickname), I am an Austrian (no, NOT Australian) living in Glasgow, Scotland. I am a Tour Guide with City Sightseeing Glasgow, a Bagpiper (just as a Hobby) and I am also an Adventurer when it comes to the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
I was once a tourist and guest here myself and I have to say my first impression of Glasgow was a little disorientating, but in this blog I want to introduce the Glaswegians – People of Glasgow – and the City to you, give you practical tips and make you ready for your first (and definitely not last) visit to our beautiful City. You will fall in love and always want to come back!
So imagine this:
You come to Scotland and decide that the basis for this trip will be – of course – to visit the capital of Scotland: Edinburgh. Imagine yourself walking through the ancient and stunning Royal Mile. You will find Edinburgh Castle on the very top and Holyrood Palace on the very bottom of the Mile. You explore all the little closes that lead to the modern part of the City – and to Princes Street. You go shopping, enjoy the beautiful Princes Street Gardens. You feel the magic of Mary Queen of Scots riding through the City, you feel the ghosts of old times.
Then you start to explore the Highlands, see mighty Glencoe, search for the Loch Ness Monster, you stop for a snack in Pitlochry, the Heart of the Scottish Highlands.
You think it can´t get better than this!
Then comes the day that you want to see Glasgow. You take the train to the big City, you leave Queen Street Station and enter Buchanan Street, part of the Style Mile of Glasgow, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. You find yourself with about a million other people in the City Centre. You panic. You wander around with no orientation. After a short while you take the train back to Edinburgh and you might think: No, Glasgow is not for me!
Imagine yourself two years later:
You come again to Glasgow for an event (let´s say a Bagpipe Competition). You arrive in the City at night, you leave the Hotel in your full Highland Gear the next morning, ready to compete and the first thing you see is Central Station with its beautiful Victorian architecture and you think: WOW!
Then you walk up Buchanan Street to get to the National Piping Centre and you think: Look how fantastic all the buildings are and …is that a peacock on the very top of the building!?
You walk up Buchanan Street and find yourself in front of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and you think: this is the place to be for a big concert!
You turn into Sauchiehall Street and think I WANT TO GO SHOPPING!
Later that day:
You did a good job in your competition, you go in a traditional pub for a traditional fish and chips, you are happy and then you think: Glasgow isn´t that bad actually. I might come back one day…
Dear Reader, I tell you all this from my own personal experience. After that trip I came back to Glasgow over and over again. A view years later I found myself moving to Glasgow, I explored the City more and more and found the stunning beauty in the architecture, in the old medieval part of the City, on the Riverside, in the parks, in the magnificent museums. It is an industrial City for sure, you won´t find any Castles or Palaces, but the history will pull you into its grip and the Glaswegians are the most lovable people you can imagine meeting.
Stay tuned for the next article. We will talk about the food, the weather and why the Glaswegians will adopt you straight away.