The Christmas holidays are approaching and since mid-November, the city of Glasgow has been wrapped in Christmas spirit. I will not be spending Christmas in Glasgow this year, and so I took advantage of the festive activities featured in the Glasgow Loves Christmas events taking place over the weeks before the holidays themselves. A trip to the city centre is always a better alternative than staying at home during the weekend – and yes, I’ve moved! More on that in another post…maybe.
It is unfortunate that the true meaning behind Christmas is often forgotten and smothered by the commercialization of the holidays – Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas trees, Christmas shopping, Christmas lights…the list goes on. Despite this, I don’t deny that the festive atmosphere is a source of warmth for the chilly winter days, and I can’t help but to immerse myself in the celebrations, all the while reminding myself that on this day, the Saviour was born.
Every fair/carnival has to have a Ferris wheel, and the one at George Square is no exception. The last time I went on a Ferris wheel was almost two years ago in Bordeaux, and while viewing a city from the high point of a Ferris wheel was amazing, the HIGH part was a bit more thrilling than I would have liked. There was also a merry-go-round (not shown in photo) at the fair in Glasgow, and for some reason I’ve wanted to ride on a merry-go-round for years now but haven’t found anyone to accompany me. Somehow I just wanted to relive my childhood on a merry-go-round, out of all the children’s rides…for no particular reason. Anyone in Glasgow want to volunteer to go with me? 😛
Skating is another thing that I failed to grasp. I guess I never really had much chance to try it, and that one time I did try it in Canada (more than 10 years ago), I failed miserably. I do want to go for it again though, but fearing that I will fall again and again (and also lack of company), I never got to it. You know what, one day I’m just going to say, “Screw it, I’ll do it” and just go for it no matter how many times I might fall. It would be preferable to have someone to help me get back up though…offers appreciated 😀
There was a special “alcohol-restricted” area at the fair and alcohol is not allowed outside of the “fence”. This would be where you’d get your mulled wine and hot apple cider. I didn’t plan on getting anything, but the sudden light drizzle and wind made me crave a cup of warm cider, and it was oh-so-satisfying.
Moving on, there was a gigantic silver reindeer on Argyle street, near the Christmas market, adorned with colourful decorations. Maybe reindeer are more popular here than in other cities? I’ve seen these silver reindeer inside the St. Enoch shopping centre, just down the street, but that really begs the question – where is Santa?
In a city that supposedly rarely see snow (well, we saw some a few days ago, but it just disappeared as soon as it hit ground), people search for any opportunity to enjoy snow when they can. Even if the snow is fake. It seems like these children were having fun throwing “snow” on each other. Happy snow fighting! I’m sure the people in Canada (hello Toronto) would be more than happy to send over some of the 15 cm of snow that they got a few days ago 😛
And speaking of snow, there was actually a booth at the Christmas market on Argyle street that sold a material that is supposed to mimic snow. It is a powder-like substance, and when you add water to it, it swells to several times its original size and feels extremely cool and soft. I liked the sensation of the “snow” in my hands – it really did feel amazing, as advertised. However, as someone who is super familiar with real snow, I’d like to disappoint everyone by saying that it doesn’t feel like REAL snow. If real snow felt like this (as opposed to wet, freezing, mushy), then maybe we wouldn’t mind it so much in Canada, hah!
A family of wooden giraffes were displayed outside a booth. I’m unsure of their use other than for decoration purposes, but someone would have to be a great fan of the long-necked animal to bring back one of these to their home.
Aha, here’s a scene that I was all too familiar with – market food! You can’t mention market food without thinking of huge German sausages, and I had seen plenty of similar booths at Christmas markets in Cologne, Copenhagen, and Paris. Just look at all that meat!! Somehow I find that I can never resist getting a sausage from one of these stands. It’s like a ritual – market = German sausages!
And so I got a bratwurst, plus a side of sauerkraut for only one British pound. The portion of the sauerkraut was so large that I almost couldn’t finish it. As for the bratwurst (most people that ordered it just said “hot dog”), it must have been a foot long. In addition to ketchup and mustard, I added loads and loads of dried onion (this photo was taken before I put anything on the bratwurst, of course) because they were SO GOOD. I stood at the stand beside the bowl of dried onions and continuously topped my bun with more…and more. Just irresistible!
As the food hunt began and one of the things I tried was Moroccan food, featured here. I got couscous with chicken tajine and spicy lamb, served by this jolly man wearing a Santa hat (in addition to the German bratwurst and Spanish paella, which I also got). Boy the food was good and I was stuffed!
This booth served some unconventional choices of meat…kangaroo, buffalo, venison (deer), and wild boar. After having food from three different booths already, I think I was too full for this one, though I wasn’t adventurous to try it even if I had an empty stomach. Well, I did have deer in Durbuy and wasn’t a fan of it, but kangaroo, buffalo, and wild boar? Hmm. Not very expensive either…maybe I’ll keep this in mind for next year’s market.
Last but not least, we have “Glass Pets” on sale. You water them until their “hair” grows (essentially just grass) and you trim it to whatever hairstyle you like. Neat! I was actually intending to buy one of these but changed my mind at the very last minute. Too many choices…plus I already spent way too much money this Christmas season 😦
Last week I realize that this would be the final weekend I’d spend in Glasgow before heading off for the Christmas holidays. Wow, how time flies – I’ve been in Glasgow for more than a month and a half! And I’m flying out already, next Friday, to a place that was all too familiar to me, plus some new countries. Meanwhile, there are four more workdays before the travels begin. Let’s work hard to the end of the year 2014