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.
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”?
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).