Yesterday Scotty and I finally made it to Glasgow. It’s a bit of a mystery to me that we haven’t made the quick trip over there until now – and that it probably wouldn’t have happened but for the fact that we had to visit the Home Office to get our biometrics done. I’m not sure that is exactly how you’re supposed to say it – do you “get biometrics done?” Anyway, we made our way to the city and had our finger prints scanned, our mugs snapped, and should be getting our passports back (FINALLY!) in about two weeks. We should also hear back on our application to study in Paris for the month of July in the same time period. And we’re relieved that, as far as we can tell, we’re not going to have to worry about the passport/visa issue any more.
The good thing about all of this is that we did get to visit Liverpool and Glasgow in our visa adventures – and while we weren’t impressed (at least in a positive way) with Liverpool, we did really enjoy our time in Glasgow. First, the most remarkable thing was that the people were extremely friendly! And I do think that the ultimate test of the pleasantness of a people is to see what people are like in government offices. Government offices seem, to me at least, places where discontent has fertile ground to breed and smolder. I mean really, we don’t say that people go “postal” for no reason. There just seems to be something about working at a bureaucracy where you’re forced to do things by the book, deal with unhappy people, and sit in a sterile, generally ugly, environment that seems to sap the joy of most people I encounter in these places. And yet, everyone at the Glasgow Home Office was incredibly friendly and helpful. They smiled, went out of their way to help us, offered sightseeing trips – even consulted with one another on directions. They were genuinely kind. And the same thing happened when we messed up at the train station and needed someone to let us out of the section we’d mistakenly wandered in to. The man who helped us there ended up talking with us for five minutes about Glasgow, the University, Edinburgh, what Scotty was studying (actually showing a genuine interest – which, let me tell you, is unusual when Scotty tells people what he is studying). And even on the streets people were smiling, and we saw a woman chase down a man who had unwittingly dropped £10.00 and return it to him. It was really nice!
We enjoyed our day in Glasgow – walking around the Botanical Gardens, the Great Western Road, Buchanan Street, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and enjoying Italian tapas for dinner. I think we may be back soon.
The Botanical Gardens were absolutely gorgeous!
The University of Glasgow is truly beautiful. The buildings are what you expect from an “ancient” Scottish University – complete with quads, cloisters, and beautiful stone towers.
And, of course, I was excited to stumble upon another Andy Goldsworthy and had to take a picture! I love his stuff.
Scotty and I finished up the day with Italian tapas at La Vita Spuntini – it was excellent. And exactly the kind of meal I love because I like to try lots of different things.
If you’d like to see more of our pictures, you can view our Flickr album here.