We went up two sets of stairs, stepped out of the station and onto Princes Street. We turned to the right, and I caught my first glimpse of a monument on a hill, and was surprised how close it seemed. We started walking. We passed a lavish hotel, The Balmoral. We turned the corner again and the view caught me by surprise. There was North Bridge, leading me towards a ridge which had buildings running all along it, with the famed castle at one end. Beyond that was the hills - they were just so stunning and naturally majestic. As I started to cross North Bridge I realised the railway lines were running below us in a valley through the middle of the town. I had a strange feeling...it just felt right, like it was meant to be. What a place.

© Hannah Gosling, 2010

We spent that day walking east along the Royal Mile, towards the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament. The next day we spent walking west, towards Edinburgh Castle. It was quite a fascinating set of streets - there are many little closes off the Royal Mile that are accessed through a deep opening that cut right through the buildings that line the Mile. I kept catching glimpses to the surrounding hills, I couldn't believe how close they were to the city.

© Hannah Gosling, 2010

© Hannah Gosling, 2010

Even though it was quite snowy, there were lots of people out and walking about, and I heard from a friend that it was quite normal for some people to walk for an hour to work if the weather was bad and buses weren't running reliably. I noticed a lot of sensible shoes and walking sticks about the place, and it feels like you could just nip up to a mountain for a walk.

I didn't realise until I saw a plaque near The Mound, that Edinburgh's Old and New Towns were on the World Heritage List. I thought this was quite an amazing thing, that a whole town could be heritage listed. If you are interested in reading the Statement of Significance, you can find it here.

I did make it to the Scottish Parliament, by EMBT Architects. Though the building is good, I have to admit I am not crazy about all this angular stuff on the interior, but the landscaping was brilliant. The thing that struck me was what an honour it would be to build on a site like this...What an opportunity!

© Hannah Gosling, 2010

I have been quite keen on going to Edinburgh since SP gave us a lecture on it in third year, but I didn't know it was going to be this good.  Is it strange that I get excited about interestingly planned places?  I even have a soppy photo of me sitting outside the Scottish Parliament.


FJE said...

Good job with the soppy photo!!

I like the sound of a place 'meant to be'.

Keep up the travel updates!

AJH said...

I don't think it looks 'soppy' just very happy! Travel photos shouldn't just be your amazing well considered, perfectly focused, beautifully composed photos ALL THE TIME, you need some snapper ones!

I also like the 'meant to be' description, don't you think travelling to cities that have evolved well, you know they work so quickly at an intuitive level. Then all our training starts up in our minds and we try to figure out why and look deeper, discuss in length blah, blah, blah!

I know absolutely nothing about Edinburgh and quite a few of the other places you have visited, so I am loving hearing of your experiences.

Post a Comment