Sightseeing

While there is a lot more to Edinburgh than the conventional tourist sites, these sights have become famous because they are photogenic. So, while I have deliberately avoided these tourist images in most of my Edinburgh portfolio, I thought that I should show a few of them here. I generally avoid Princes St and the surrounding area. I don't like shopping, it's usually too busy to walk briskly, and its noisy and smelly from the constant bus traffic. But if you can get off the main street into the Gardens it's much quieter, even on a beautiful autumn day like this one. The dominant position of the Castle means that it is usually the most prominent feature in photographs. But here, I think it takes second place to these daffodils on the slopes above Princes Street Gardens. Not many people actually go up there but I think it's really worth the climb. It takes no time at all to get from the city centre to fabulous green spaces like Edinburgh's own mini-Matterhorn, Arthurs Seat. It's set in the Queen's Park at the bottom of the Royal Mile by Holyrood Palace. A tranquil summer scene at St Margaret's Loch in Queen's Park, with the ruined St Anthony's Chapel in the background. It's not a natural loch but was created by Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert. He dug out a patch of bogland to create the loch. I don't know if he brought in the swans too - after all, the royal family are apparently the only people permitted to eat swan. As far as I know, they don't exercise that right now and swans are far too fierce to be taken on by ordinary citizens thinking about a change of diet. The Scottish Parliament building at the foot of the Royal Mile is (I think) an architectural marvel and a worthy addition to Edinburgh's magnificent architecture. It was incredibly controversial at the time it was built, with an original estimate of £40 million and a final price of over £400 million. The architect was Enric Miralles, from Barcelona, who died before it was completed. It is to the credit of the Scottish politicians that the Parliament building is also a public space with people wandering around outside and the building open to visitors. Members of Parliament have lunch in the cafe with members of the public which is exactly as it should be. Westminster politicians - take note.

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