Sunday, October 08, 2006

Exploring Glasgow by Running, part 2

Entry for 7 Oct 2006:

As I have written previously, I am trying to gradually extend the distance I run on my long weekend runs. Last week I ran out on the Clyde & Forth Canal, covering about 8 miles, and providing the material for the poem I included as my entry of 1 October. Today I ran further down the Glasgow side canal that runs toward the city centre. After I passed Ruchill, previously the furthest point I’d gone, I kept on going past the home stadium of Dave Mearns’ favorite soccer team, Partick Thistle. This team runs a distant 3rd to the Rangers and the Celtics, the two main teams in Glasgow, but they have spirit and are not aligned with Catholic-Protestant divide that characterizes the Celtics-Rangers rivalry. The stadium isn’t that big, but it has one very interesting characteristic: It features a side basin off the canal, for people to dock their barges in order to go to the game. I don’t know if anyone has ever actually used these docks to go to a game there, but it is a pretty neat idea!

After the soccer stadium, a vista opened out to the right, looking down over the West End of the city. There I saw a series of church steeples, and was able to identify the steeple of St. Mary’s Cathedra, about half a mile distant. After that, I came across an administration building and dock for British Waterways – Scotland, the folks whom I’ve been seeing opening and shutting the locks and occasionally tooling up or down the canals in barges or boats. There were about 6 barges or boat tied up there.

Shortly after this, I reached my destination for the day: Spiers Wharf, a row of 6-7-story Victorian buildings that used to be sugar refineries, then whiskey distilleries, and that still tower over the brick loading area at their feet. Now these buildings have been transformed into nice flats. Reaching the end of the wharf, I found myself looking down at the M8, the major highway that goes around the city centre. The locks and canal veer to the left but keep going beyond that point. I had made it to the edge of the City Centre, and felt very proud of myself indeed!

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