Ten unusual sights for Glasgow 2014

The Commonwealth Games has well and truly arrived in Glasgow and the city is dressed to impress. Here are ten unusual sights, which have popped up.

1. Marquees and tents

Whether it's live events, additional offices or budget accommodation - all manner of tents have pitched up in Glasgow.

Marquees feature at some of the "Live Zones", which are at the heart of Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games celebrations. The four main zones are at Glasgow Green, the Merchant City, Kelvingrove Bandstand and outside the BBC at Pacific Quay.

Here people can watch the big Games events on big screens, take part in a range of sports and games zones, and see a varied programme of music, dance, theatre and comedy.

Meanwhile, the rugby pitches near Pollok Park have been invaded by happy campers.

It is one of four Campingninja campsites in and around Glasgow, offering budget accommodation for about 12,000 ticketholders and volunteers.

Most campers bring their own gear, but there are 300 pre-pitched tents, from outdoor specialist Tiso, which are to be donated to various projects after the Games.

The company also says grassroots sports benefit from the campsites, with a percentage of its profits donated to the participating sports clubs.

2. Over-sized passes

Image copyright PA

They've got Games access and they want the world to know!

Be it staff, volunteers, contractors or journalists - lots of people around the city are rocking their laminated passes with pride.

The Glasgow 2014 accreditation pass, complete with ID mugshot and a plethora of symbols and letters, is notably large.

About 70,000 people, including the volunteer Clydesiders, need to be accredited for the Games.

Passes include information about who you are and what venues and transport services you can access.

Even the Queen has a VIP pass to the Games, which she was given during a visit to the uniform and accreditation centre a Kelvin Hall in Glasgow.

3. Temporary signs

Do you want to know how to get to a venue or some of the cultural activities or festival hubs around the city? Then just look down.

Pavement stickers and temporary signs have emerged with estimates of journey times, encouraging visitors to go on foot.

Then there's those puzzling purple signs that have appeared on the M74, M8 and other key roads around the city. But don't worry they are not aimed at ordinary drivers.

GRN stands for Games Route Network and the signs are for the cars and buses ferrying athletes and officials to venues.

Most of the GRN will be open to all traffic, but with the exception of a small number of dedicated Games Lanes. Driver of unauthorised vehicles caught using these lanes will face £50 fines.

4. Uniforms

Every big event comes with its obligatory hi-viz jacket workforce and Glasgow 2014 is no exception. However, these Games are also being brought to us by a Red Army.

Glasgow 2014 staff, and volunteer Clydesiders are clearly identifiable in their red and grey uniform. There's also a blue and grey uniform for technical staff.

For baton bearers, there's blue trousers and a white t-shirt with flashes of blue and yellow, featuring the Queen's Baton Relay logo.

Then there's the athletes' team kits and parade uniforms. At this point should I mention team Scotland's parade uniform? The turquoise and fuchsia tartan outfits were described as as "bold" and "colourful" by some, while the words "cushions" and "curtains" were used in comments by others.

Either way, the controversial outfits have certainly got Team Scotland noticed.

5. Clyde mascots

The cheeky thistle mascot can be found at 25 different locations across the city, sporting a variety of outfits designed by school children.

Clyde hunters can track him down with the help of an app for android smartphones - each fibreglass Clyde has a QR code that can be scanned. Organisers are hoping to have a version for iphones available soon.

And for those who want to document their detective work on Twitter, why not use the official hashtag #clydestrail.

Don't worry, there is a straight forward Clyde's mascot trail map for the less technically minded!

6. Buses, official cars and bikes

Driving north on the M74 heading into Glasgow you may have spotted a fleet of First Buses lying in wait in a depot at the side of the motorway.

The company has invested in more than 100 new vehicles to add to its 380-strong fleet which will ferry athletes, officials, spectators and the media to and from venues.

Branded Glasgow 2014 cars are also on the move across the city. Driven by Clydesider volunteers they are being used to make sure the athletes make it to track, pool, field and ring-side in time for their events.

And for spectators there's a chance to get in the saddle. Inspired by London's "Boris bikes", Glasgow City Council, in partnership with Nextbike GmbH, has about 400 bikes for hire at 36 different locations.

7. The Big G

Image copyright Andy Buchanan

Have you posted your #TheBigG selfie yet?

The Big G in Glasgow's George Square is the centre-piece of a major programme of activity to "dress the city" for the Games

The giant installation, which reflects the Games logo, is 5.5m tall (18ft), weighs four tonnes, and is surrounded by floral landscaping and coloured sensory spotlights.

Organisers hope to appeal to social media users to help promote Glasgow 2014 around the world.

8. Banners and flags

What's a celebration without bunting? Nearly 12km of it has been unfurled to decorate Glasgow's streets, libraries, sports and community centres.

Also bringing a burst of colour to Glasgow is the 1,600 lamppost banners, carpet bedding displays, tiered planter boxes and hanging baskets.

Areas of focus have been Central and Queen Street rail stations, Buchanan Street bus station, as well as along key travel routes to the competition venues.

9. Murals

Image copyright Thomas Nugent / BBC

Gable-ends of tenements, concrete jungles under motorways, and large expanses of wall have all been targeted - not by illicit graffiti, but by Games-inspired murals.

As part of a Clean Glasgow Campaign, Australian artist Sam Bates was commissioned to paint sports-themed pictures on pillars along the Broomielaw and under the Kingston Bridge.

Another series of murals was organised by the city of Glasgow partnership, Velocity. Guido van Helten was chosen to carryout the work on the sides of buildings in the Merchant City and in Partick.

The perimeter brick wall around Scotstoun Leisure Centre has also been given an artwork facelift.

10. And don't forget... the athletes

Image copyright PA and Getty

They are buffed, bronzed and "in peak condition", according to one coach who couldn't help pointing out the obvious as we stood next to a group of swimmers getting ready for a training session.

Thousands of athletes and officials have descended on Glasgow as the city prepares for the opening ceremony later.

The teams from 25 countries, including Bangladesh, New Zealand, India and Singapore, are staying at the Athletes' Village, at Dalmarnock, in the east end of the city.

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