Goodness, there are lots of things to say here… !! First I will start with what I have been told about Glasgow long before I ever got there from several people in the States: Beware Glasgow!! Seriously I had one friend tell me that Scotland in general was quite dangerous and that I should keep my head down, don’t speak to anyone and I should be fine. Statistically there is some validity in that because apparently Scotland is the #1 producer of heroine. And where there are the super hard drugs, there is a higher volume of potential for danger and violence. But as we all know, danger and violence exist everywhere. So I wasn’t going to let anyone try to scare me out of visiting Scotland!! And honestly I never ran into any violence or danger in Scotland at all! There were a few bar fights and a fight with a convenience store clerk, but I promise I didn’t use any violence in any of those situations!!
When it comes to Glasgow specifically, yes, even the Glaswegians (Weegie’s for short) have fear of certain areas and of certain people… Beware the Bams and Neds!! There was actually a third category of people, but I can’t recall what they were called… If memory serves correctly Bams are more dangerous than Neds. Bams are easily recognizable… They are usually always spotted in two or more, they always have shaved or near shaved heads, and they have at least one if not several scars on their faces from knife fights. These people are best avoided altogether because even my friend from Glasgow says that if you get in a tangle with one of them, there is no way to escape not being stabbed. And it doesn’t take any provocation from the individual either! As I’ve been told by locals (and my friend) you could simply be standing around minding your business. If a Bam spots you though and for whatever reason doesn’t like the look of you, they come over to pick fights with you. Joy!! Again though, while I saw several Bams about, I never saw any violence or was never harassed myself. Bams are also generally younger guys. I guess you could compare them to street thugs with nothing better to do than start trouble… Neds on the other hand are “grown-up” Bams… They are just an older generation who are calmer and less likely to start violence, but are still thugs in their own way. I guess you could say Neds and Bams are like pit vipers… Pit viper babies immediately bite and inject overdoses of venom in any little thing that strikes them as being a threat whereas adult pit vipers pick and choose what is really a threat and only deals out enough venom to subdue the threat… Hmmm…
Moving along… the East End is also known to be dodgy by locals… When I was working in Key West, I had a couple of younger kids visit from Scotland (aside from my friends from Edinburgh whom I met there) who knew Glasgow very well and I asked them to write down places to go or avoid in Glasgow… the East End made that list! Along with other areas including Drumchapel, Priesthill, Nitshill and England, LOL!! Places to go in Glasgow included Byres road for pubs (did that for sure!) and Lochlomond (to be talked about later).
Now that you have a little bit of an interesting introduction to Glasgow, I’m going to back up a tiny bit to getting there… I arrived via train at the rear-crack of the morning (aka 9am) from Oban to Queen’s Station. And I was met just outside the station from my very good friend Anna! Anna is a local born and bred Glaswegian who one day will have a book and or movie made about her life, because seriously she’s traveled over 80 countries and had some of the most amazing/crazy stuff happen to her!! I met Anna while living in Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica. We were neighbors, became good friends, kept in touch and when I was going to Scotland, since she just happened to be there as well, of course I had to go to see her!
Now you know why I went to Glasgow:) Because honestly, if it wasn’t for her being there, I don’t know that I would have had any other reason to go on my own. Glasgow is an industry town. It’s not necessarily very pretty nor is there really a whole lot to do there from the tourist perspective. But since I was lucky enough to have a local perspective (via Anna) I had an absolute grand time there! Of course most the time we were intoxicated, but only had one day of a real hangover!! So all in all, I think we did pretty well;)
In the interest of not rambling on for decades, I’m going to break down the activities once again to links so I don’t drone on too long in a single post:) Oh, and if you are looking for Glasgow pictures… I didn’t really take any:( I’m terrible at taking pictures in places where I’m living more than visiting… And with having a friend there, it felt like the former… But, I did take pictures at Loch Lomond and Lochgoilhead:) So skip to those sections if you are looking for pictures of surrounding areas.