City Wandering

When I get out and about, my first preference is to get to the hills. Unfortunately, family circumstances mean that I can’t get there nearly as often as I’d like so I spend more time daunering in the lowlands rather than the highlands.

So, city walking is not my first preference but it has its own charms. Sometimes this walking is directed (e.g. the seven hills of Edinburgh) but more often than not, I like to wander aimlessly in the city, following unfamiliar streets and paths just to see where I end up. The nice thing about aimless wandering is that you come across corners and places that visitors and, often, most locals miss.

Todays dauner was in Edinburgh which, of course, is a beautiful city with world-renowned views. But I’ve taken lots of photos of these views so I was really looking for snapshots - angles and perspectives that present a slightly different view of the city.

I started in Bruntsfield to the south of the city and wandered across Bruntsfield Links and the Meadows. The garages on Meadows Lane are a colourful wall of graffiti.
I headed from there down lanes and closes towards Salisbury Crags and then to the Dynamic Earth museum. Most people head straight for the museum but there’s a delightful rock garden, which still has some autumn colour.
The sunshades on the office windows look fantastic although I wonder how effective they really are.
I love the architecture of the Scottish Parliament building with interesting perspectives around every corner. Most people miss the bicycle racks. It’s good to know that so many civil servants and maybe even MSPs travel by bike.
The Scottish Parliament has a wall with snippets of some of the best Scottish poetry.
But we then go from the sublime to the ridiculous. Across the road is a souvenir shop selling the worst of Scottish tat. I think this apron with kilt and cleavage is really the worst I have ever seen.
I made my way through closes and up a steep path towards Calton Hill where you can get a view of the station from Jacobs Ladder.
Finally, time for a pint and something to eat in the Guildford Arms, one of Edinburgh’s fine Victorian pubs.
I was intrigued by the brass plate on the stairs. It’s modern purpose is obvious - directing female customers to the toilets. But I wondered if it was an older sign from Victorian times directing male customers to opportunities to meet with local ‘ladies of the night’?