Sunday, 21 March 2010

Auld Reekie

You'll know that we've been over to Manchester any number of times in the last year or so. So much so that we were starting to feel guilty about not going up to see Sarah, so we finally booked a weekend and went. It's only about an hour and a half by train, but Bill preferred to drive. He likes to take the scenic route so it took about 3 hours. This time we went up through Coldstream on a smaller road rather than taking the A1 (I keep wanting to call it an interstate or a highway, even after all these years!) motorway which takes you through Berwick-upon-Tweed. It's all pretty scenic, but I expect the curving hilly roads are more fun to drive, especially in a 'new' red sports car, eh?

There is no way to show you all there is to see in Edinburgh. We only saw a few things over the weekend and still walked our little socks off. I've been here several other times, more for fun than work for a change. Other than to see Sarah a couple of times whilst she was at University here, one of the last times Bill and I came up was for a Stones' concert. It was totally amazing watching them and hearing music I've grown up with. It was great. They did a helluva light show, but nothing like the sun setting behind them. It was a summer night and never really gets dark that far north, but the sunset seemed to go on for technicoloured hours (and yes, we were completely sober and straight). Anyhow, that was then this is now (to quote S.E. Hinton).

I'm just including some shots I took from the car to give you a feel for what the buildings look like. I am more used to seeing terraced houses than when I first came over, but Edinburgh's are on average two stories higher. They are a different colour - in fact most of Britain's cities are characterised by the colour of the local stone. There is a marked difference between Edinburgh city centre and 'New Town', built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Anyhow, I thought you might like seeing the terraces, with their chimney pots to draw oxygen to the coal fires,

As with most of Britain town centres, there are business on the ground floors and flats above.

This door way with the face carved and painted on the door frame caught my eye.

And the cobbled streets with endless terraces

There was a busker standing in this very spot when I first ever walked out of Edinburgh Waverley, the train station. I remember a much younger man, but I don't think it's the same one in spite of 17 years having passed .

I had purchased Europe through the Back Door by Rick Steves. One of the things he suggested was to carry a tape recorder and capture some of the exotic sounds of your holiday. I recorded a flute played by a girl wearing a long romantic dress in Cambridge, the sound of the train that carried me out of London and the bagpipes played by a handsome young man outside the train station when I arrived in Edinburgh. To be continued...

P.S. Happy Birthday to the sweetest man in the world: Bill!


Frugal Scholar said...

Oh, one day I'll get to Edinburgh....

Struggler said...

What, I missed your trip to Cambridge? Bother.
Thank you so much for your kind comments on my post whining about having too much to do ;) You weren't at all soap-boxy and I really must learn to chill out a bit more about stuff!

Shelley said...

Struggler - I've not published anything here about the Cambridge visit, so you've not missed it. It all depends on whether I find those photos again in all the mountains. That is the current project: scanning photos.