Doing the whole touristy bit

Edinburgh _G106553

If you’ve read my previous post you’ll know that I’ve not long returned from a week’s trip to Scotland. If you haven’t read my previous post, well, I’ve not long returned from a week’s trip to Scotland. Edinburgh to be precise. On business, sort of thing. Well, work at least. Though not very lucrative work it has to be said. But it was all in a good cause so that’s ok.

After having done all that I’d gone there to do I ended up with a few hours to spare before boarding the coach back at some ridiculous time of the night.
“Hmm. What to do?” I ponder. First things first so repair to a cosy little hostelry for a bevy or three whilst I mull over various ways to pass the time.

Didn’t take much mulling really. Y’see, this was my second visit north of the border. The first being back in 2005. And I remembered that what little I’d seen of the country had impressed me mightily. Though on that occasion I’d had no opportunity to do the whole sightseeing thing.

But here I am, five years on and back in Scotland… and with some hours to kill! Now during the course of doing what I came here to do I’d spent a few hours one day in the city centre itself (Edinburgh, that’d be). And had been fascinated by what I’d seen of it. Which wasn’t a great deal due to masses of people constantly getting in the way. Something called the “Fringe Festival” was on, which apparently attracts huge crowds. Hmm. No apparently about it. The place was absolutely heaving with bodies.

However, the attractions of the city outweighed my life-long dislike of crowds so, with those few spare hours, I thought I’d treat myself to doing the whole touristy bit. Just by way of a change. Relax. Mooch around. Snap the odd pic here and there. That sort of thing.

So I did. I have to say, the place is gorgeous. Magnificent architecture wherever you look. Loads of wonderful little side streets and alleyways, all begging to be explored. A feast of superb vistas crying out to be photographed once one gets up fairly high. And of course loads of monuments and stuff. Far too much really to take in on a single visit. I could easily and quite happily spend a month there doing nothing other than wandering around gathering pics of stuff.

Edinburgh _G106512

Well, I could easily and quite happily spend a month there if I could afford it dammit! But alas, that’s unlikely to happen. So I had to make the most of the little time I had.

And the other thing about Scotland, or the parts I visited anyway… the people there all seem so friendly. And helpful. Genuinely friendly and helpful… not just being polite. A huge contrast to where I come from!

The only thing that distressed me slightly was the, what seemed to me, over-commercialisation of the place… certainly along that bit called the Royal Mile. Its like there’s a whole industry devoted to selling Scotland as some sort of commodity and I found it a bit, I dunno, off-putting I guess. Fair enough, folk have to earn money, and clearly the tourist trade is big money in Edinburgh. But does it have to be quite so “in yer face”?

Edinburgh _G106573

But hey, if that’s the only criticism I have (and likely a not very fair one) then it can’t be bad!

So here’s a slideshow of my brief meandering around the city, that also happens to include a couple of pics from Leith, and from a place named Gowk Park which is where I actually spent most of the week (30 pics in total).

About fotdmike

Occasional photographer; occasional writer/blogger; occasional activist; occasional computer-geek. Bit of a fool really.
This entry was posted in Adventures, Photography Chat, Stuff and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Doing the whole touristy bit

  1. technogran says:

    Yes Edinburgh is wonderful! It’s usually this time of year when the festival is on that we pay it a visit. See that you went into Princes park and also managed to get the roof of the train station in one photo!
    You really need a couple of days there to take it all in. See that shop you took? That’s where K bought her ‘Scotland’ t-shirt. Let’s face it, its all about making the best of what you’ve got, so I never blame any area for making money from tourism. Next time Mike, try visiting when its quieter.
    Love the photos, all of them.

    • fotdmike says:

      Yeah, I certainly will (visit when its quieter, that is)… always assuming I get another opportunity. Didn’t have a lot of choice this time though. Just unfortunate that the event I was attending coincided with the Festival.

      But what a beautiful place (despite the commercialism). I loved it. The thing I’ve discovered when photographing a new place is that it seems you have to work through all the “touristy” shots first (the scenic views, the landscapes and stuff) before being able to get on to the more interesting type shots. Like gaining an overview first, sort of thing.

      And sadly I just didn’t have enough time to work through the first stage, let alone get on to the second. So I’d really like to re-visit. Thing is though, its a bit too far to travel as a daytrip (the coach took nearly eight hours to get there!).

      Still, one day. Maybe.

  2. technogran says:

    Then next time Mike, take the train! Try visiting in May, June or even September/October. Next time we are going, I’ll let you know, maybe we can meet up for a days shoot! (and of course K’s shop)

    • fotdmike says:

      Hmm. I’m not certain but I think trains are even worse than the coach. Not so much time-wise but in faffing around. I seem to recollect that’s why I opted for coach in the first place.
      If I went by train from where I am its likely I’d have to get one down to London first then change and get another back up to Scotland. Not entirely certain about that but I seem to recollect that’s what it was. And there’s the cost thing as well of course. The coach was dirt cheap, whereas trains… well. For example, last time I went to Manchester by train (a few years ago now), which is much nearer than Scotland, it cost me well over a ton! But the coach all the way to Edinburgh cost me less than fifty quid return!

      So in that context the time penalty was sort of worthwhile. But certainly not a journey I’d want to do too often!

  3. David says:

    Did you buy a kilt whilst you were there?
    As for price of travel, you need to shop around a bit for the cheaper deals, there is no need to go into London first several route options that make it feasible, changing at Derby or getting the bus, or the peanut train, across to MK then catching the train, so much fast and, if you book a bit in advance and scour the internet you certainly dont have to pay huge prices. especially by the time you throw in your pension book and get a old fogeys discount.

    • fotdmike says:

      No, I did not buy a kilt! Last time I wore a skirt… well, let’s just keep that tale for another day.

      As for the shopping around for travel options, there were a couple of little snags with that… main thing being that I wasn’t entirely certain (right up to almost the last moment in fact) that I’d be going. Health stuff and wotnot. So that buggered any chances of booking in advance.

      Changing at Derby? Pah. Bad as having to negotiate a change at London. I don’t do changes! Once I’m on some form of transportation I expect to stay on that transportation until I reach the destination. I’ll only do changes if I have absolutely no other choice. (Dragging a bloody great 80 litre rucksack plus all my photokit in another rucksack on and off trains and buses and stuff is no joke let me tell you!)

      And what’s all that about pension books? I don’t have a pension book. Bloody cheek!


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