I couldn’t think of what to put here today. Eventually I decided to turn the clock back to May when it was sunny and warm and the walk I took one scorchingly roasting day around the entire route of the Glasgow Subway. And it was roasting.
I started at Govan and arrived back there 4 hours and 8 minutes later, passing Partick, Kelvinhall, Hillhead, Kelvinbridge, St. George’s Cross, Cowcaddens, Buchanan Street, St. Enoch, Bridge Street, West Street, Shields Road, Kinning Park, Cessnock and Ibrox along the way. I stopped a couple of times and I detoured from Govan to Partick via Pacific Quay to avoid the Tunnel or else it would have been a bit faster.
The walk was part of my list of 30 things to do before I’m 30 next year. Psychogeography is a concept that underpins a lot of my rovings and this particular one certainly, trying to get a sense of the city, getting under its skin rather than keeping to the surface. The Subway is a mode of transport hundreds of thousands of people use every year, commuters, tourists and everyone else in between. It is a symbol of Glasgow, like the statue of the Duke of Wellington, City Chambers and, for good or ill, our city’s biggest football teams. Plus I thought it would be an interesting writing exercise, following in the footsteps of Iain Sinclair who did the same thing with the London Overground and M25. Being in Glasgow rather than down south made it a bit more civilised, naturally.
I did write it and the resulting posts appeared here on the blog, with the links below:
My abiding memories of the walk are of needing lots of fluids and sweating profusely. Naturally I picked a day well above twenty degrees. But I woke up that morning, it was a Bank Holiday, and I just had a notion so off I went. I got the bus down to Govan and started walking, not at all sure I would finish. The walk from Govan to Partick was the longest and it was also the most open part of the walk, with fewer buildings around to shelter from the sun. My feet held up until just before Cessnock when they seriously started to complain. Luckily turning onto Paisley Road West meant I was on familiar territory again and that spurred me on as did getting a proper look at the Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson designed tenements at Cessnock.
Some of the walk was decidedly urban and not all together lovely. The bit between St. George’s Cross and Cowcaddens, pictured below, comes to mind as does the bit between West Street and Kinning Park, which is very close to the M8 and in a very industrial area of the city. The Cowcaddens bit also had some interesting street art, which had disappeared by the time I was there again about a month ago. Kinning Park was also quite pleasant, especially as I plonked myself on a bench and hydrated. It was also the first place I was asked directions on the route. That happens to me fairly often, sometimes in cities and countries I don’t live in.
Anyway, here are some photos of the Subwalk. It was tough but had some great parts, much like this city itself.