Wednesday 18 July 2012

Great Britain in pictures and words - Part one

It is very challenging task to put everything important from this trip in just one rapport and that's why I decided to divide it in a few rapports.
The first one (the one you are reading right now) is a reportage about the trip in Great Britain, including  a big pictorial rapport from London, Glasgow and Edinburgh (and it will be divided in two parts).
The second one will be chess related rapport from round 1-9 and a few thoughts about my presentation there.
The third one will be Michael De Verdier´s  rapport from this trip, including both, the trip and the chess part of it.

Right, so where to start ?
I assume that a good thing would be to right this reportage in chronological order, which lead us to London Stansted Airport, where Michael and I met on 5. July , this year of course.

5. July - St. Athans Hotel or Satan´s Hotel?

We took a bus from London Stansted Airport to the Liverpool Street Station and this trip took about one hour. One could see that London is preparing for the forthcoming Olympic games and a few astonishing buildings were build for this event. An impressive Olympic stadium in London´s East End and a whole system of  transport communications to the city centre.
Our plan was to spend two days in London before our trip to Scotland.
We stayed in the small hotel , St. Athans (not Satan´s) very near to Euston Station so we could enjoy a London a few hours more on second day.
The hotel with colourful name
After fixing some ,let´s say, administrative tasks, like picking our tickets to Glasgow and buying an unavoidable Oyster card for London´s tube we went for city centre by foot.
A first location to visit was Piccadilly Circus and from there it was just a few minutes walking to famous Trafalgar Square.
After the 30 minutes rest there, we walked to the House of Parliament with it´s famous bell The Big Ben (yes the bell, not a clock). We crossed the Westminster Bridge to reach a London Eye and then we got hungry and tired so a good meal and some rest were inviolable. From Waterloo station we took the tube to the Monument station just to see a London bridge and then to walk to the Tower Bridge. However, we were surprised by thousands of people cheering there and photographing one of London´s skyscrapers. very soon we realised that we came perfectly to an opening of one of the new London´s towers, The Shard - London Bridge Tower (see pictures below). Than we walked to the Tower Bridge, spent some time there and take the tube to the our hotel.

6. July - Chips!?! Boring life!

The second day was a bit different, because we decided to visit some of locations which was a bit different picture of British Capital.
The first one was Camden Town, somehow north from the centre.
In front of one of many take away shops we enjoyed a very good food and an entertainment from the seller on the Chalk Farm road shop.
He tried to persuade every single person to try the food he sells and his comments was quite a funny.

Seller: "come on, you can try, it is free, nobody gone die"
Seller: "Come on, you speak Spanish ....(same Spanish words) ? Neither do I"
Seller: watching to peoples take away food from one of many other places 
"Chips ?!? Boring life! "
Seller: "And which country are you coming from?"
Me: "Bosnia"
Seller: "Is that somewhere in Russia?"
Me " Not really"
Seller " All right, ask how are you on your language"
Me " Kako si?" (How are you)
Seller " Dobro, hvala" on a not very fluent Bosnian (good, thanks)

Next place to visit was Camden Town Stables Market. De Verdier had his moment when he was on his way to the Chalk Farm which you can see from one of the pictures.
Later on, we visited a few locations in the centre, Covent Garden with it´s beautiful market, and we walked to Regent Street going trough China Town and taking a photo of Opera House Building (something which became our practise from the beginning of 2012)
It was time to say good bye to London, pick up our luggage and wait for our train. We took the west bank line, Virgin train, with just one stop in Preston.
We arrived in Glasgow Central Station about 9 pm and as soon as we were on the streets of Glasgow we knew it that it would be a fantastic trip. One could really feel something special in the air. The atmosphere is very hard to describe. Let´s say that it was the urban feeling of a big city but a little different from London for example. It was a more genuine.
Later on the evening we located a playing venue (The Trade Hall) which was by far the most beautiful and stylish place where I played chess in my life.

7. July - I don´t mind Republicans

When tournament started we build up our routine. Every day round started at 1 pm, except a seventh round which starter 12:30 pm. Before games we spent time preparing but after rounds we spent our time to explore Glasgow.
It is a third biggest city in UK and a biggest one in Scotland. It lays on the banks of river Clyde. Basically a Glasgow centre is on the right bank of Clyde same as other big part of this City, The West End. On the left bank of river Clyde one can find a modern part and a few areas which can be easy described as genuine.
What was a very good positive surprise in Glasgow compared to rest of Britain was a food.
Glasgow's restaurants is a story for themselves. I would like to mention that I tasted the best fish curry subtle spiced, in my whole life.
One and only thing which we could complain was a weather, but this can be very subjective, because we got a real feeling of Scotland.
Other thing which can be a problem is their dialect of English language. It is not because it is Scottish, more because it is Glasgowian, which make problems for other Scottish to understand. Glasgow is famous for his tight connection with football. Two most popular and successful Scottish clubs is situated there (although I don´t know is it fair to call a Celtic Scottish club when the majority of supporters are Irish). Of course I am talking about Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic. We visited their grounds, and both are impressive. I liked more Rangers stadium, Ibrox Park despite my slight sympathy towards Celtic. I had a feeling that Rangers supporters completely dominates the city, by numbers of pubs (even on the way to Celtic Park) numbers of people wearing their symbols on the streets and by a fact that we saw a few Celtic supporters verbally attacked when they were noticed in the centre.
The biggest stadium is Hampden Park, but only Scottish national team are playing there, a cup finals and they use it as a rugby stadium as well.
I have to write about one scene outside of our hotel.
As we were on our way from the hotel, we noticed that it was raining again. Precisely in front of hotel door were a few persons waiting for better weather or who knows what, when Michael asked.....

De Verdier: "Is it always weather like this in Glasgow"
Guy (who smells alcohol): " Ayee, why are you complainiiiiinngg mrhkmgmak maaate"
Guy lifting his jacket to show his Rangers shirt"Look at this maaate, we will be back mrhkmmmrkemmmm maaatee" 
Guy: " I don´t mind Republicans mrkrmmrm"
Guy: " Do you ever been in mrkmrmmr, I have family there...."
De Verdier: " Have a nice"

It was obvious for us. Everyone who doesn´t speak English like they is a Republican ( Irish).
As I think that everybody is already bored of my writing I will show some pictures from London and Glasgow including Glasgow City Centre, and Celtic and Rangers grounds.
A second part will contain pictures from Glasgow´s West End, F.C. Partic Thistlle, Edinburgh and chess related pictures.

Piccadilly Circus

Trafalgar Square

The Big Ben

The Big Ben (from Trafalgar)

House of Parlaiment with London´s symbols

The Shard

Tower Bridge is ready for Games

Queens Walk view on Tower Bridge

Who wants to see it?

In Camden Town

Stable Market in Camden Town

Michael in his element

The bus for Chalk Farm

There is a rumours that you can
taste an Elephant  meat inside

Covent Garden

Someone for the Opera?

Famous telephone cabins

China Town, London

Ready for Games

Regent Street

In front of Euston Station

View trough a window of
East Bank line  train, London-Glasgow


George Square in Glasgow

Glasgow by night


Area on the left bank of river Clyde

Glasgow, near the Merchant City



The Merchant City, Glasgow

Glasgow centre

Goerge Square by night

Area around
Central Station in Glasgow

Glasgow by night

Ibrox park

In front of Ibrox Park

De Verdier, soon to be IM

A bit about history

Special wishes on the wall

Ibrox Park,
the home od Glasgow Rangers F.C.


All the same....

A little more about history

A quarter near Ibrox park

Need recounstruction?

It feels something...
Arch Bridge Glasgow

Scottish Television,
in the background BBC Scotland

Celtic Park

The picture says it all

This one is my favourite

A little bit about
 green and white history

And the green and white wishes

Impressive ground
Glasgow centre

A clock inside
Central station in Glasgow

To be continued.......

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