Sep 17, 2012

Spirit of Scotland

Spending 48 hours in Glasgow is very educational. Not only because of the reason for the trip (the European Conference on Immunology); 48 hours of Scotland weather quickly gets to your very bones. And 2 hours of wandering around the city that seems to be hunkering down against that very weather, its gray buildings covered in decades of even grayer dust and moister moss, its industrial era high times gone by, quickly gets you to the heart and soul of the Scottish spirit.

View from my hotel on the River Clyde, at one point the Steel River center of shipbuilding in the world

The spirit of Scotland even carries its very name. The soul comforting, heart warming, smoky, golden, even laidir (Scottish gaelic for 'brawny') spirit of Scotch. From the lowlands, the highlands, the islands.
In the short 48 hours I was there, I had the pleasure of attending the conference party complete with a whiskey tasting: a triple distilled from the lowlands, an aged from the highlands and a smoky sea salty from the islands.

The party was heating up even more with a performance by no less than the Red Hot Chili Pipers. Even hotter than the Peppers, these guys were allegedly not even wearing socks. In stead, these guys were wearing kilts. They were cranking out high paced rock tracks from the likes of AC/DC ('Thunder, nananana nana nana') and Queen ('We will we will rock you'), but not by singing or guitar playing. Instead, they rocked these songs out of bagpipes.

They rocked the roof of the Victorian arches under Glasgow's grey and mossy railway station, the appropriate backdrop for a party in this laidir city.

The spirit of Scotland braces you against the weather and embraces you with the Scottish friendliness. Aye.
Laidir meets hip in this once 4th largest city of Europe

GABROEN on behalf of Jeroen

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