Sunday, 25 November 2018

Edinburgh again and again

My ninth visit to Edinburgh since I began blogging in 2007. A city that I'm very fond of aesthetically; it has so much to give. From the commanding views from Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill to the majesty of the Castle, the architecture of the New Town, the Old Town that's straight out of a Harry Potter film set, the soaring bridges, the narrow passages diving down steep staircases - a city that's been more engineered than built.

This time I felt a need to see more of the Water of Leith Walk; it was not pouring with rain and I was armed with my 10-24mm Nikkor zoom, better for architecture. Below: looking down Young Street, in Edinburgh's New Town. I'm a great fan of cobblestones. What also makes this shot a 'publisher' is that there are no huge gaily coloured plastic wheelie bins nor scaffolding visible. These two rank high in my list of visual annoyances in Edinburgh.

Left: on the corner of Leith Bridge, Queensferry Road and Bell Brae a neo-Gothic turreted residential folly... what imagination, what engineering prowess to build something like this. Dean Bridge, designed by the great Scottish civil engineer Thomas Telford rises high above the Water of Leith.

Below: looking up at Dean Bridge from the Water of Leith, the 10-24mm Nikkor zoom set to its widest, no attempt at parallax correction.

On my last visit, I mentioned the classic series of illustrated children's books by Miroslav Sasek, in particular This is Edinburgh (1961); here's Sasek's take on Dean Bridge...

...and this is my best attempt at getting his view. It entailed me clambering atop a huge millstone in the middle of a small park on Miller Row, and using various distorting tricks in Photoshop, but still I couldn't get the exaggerated perspective that Sasek presents.

Below: from the top of Dean Bridge looking down onto Dean Village and the Water of Leith.

Below: stone steps running down steep hills between tenements, and the views in between, are a beguiling feature of Edinburgh.

Looking up steep hills too yields rewarding views; here's Gloucester Street; at the summit lies Edinburgh's New Town, laid out in a neat rectangle, along the ridge of the hill.

As dusk begins to fall, I cross Princes Street to enter the Old Town. To many younger people, its similarity to the sets of the Harry Potter movie franchise are a major attraction, one the city has not been slow to capitalise on.

Below: imagery that resonates with anyone feeling a sense of history. Just behind me on Cockburn Street is the Arcade Bar, which serves excellent haggis, neaps and tatties. As I tucked in, I had this magnificent view in front of me (though through a plate-glass window).

Below: back to Princes Street; to the right the National Gallery of Scotland, in the distance the Walter Scott Memorial. Time to return to get some rest after a second day's early start in a row.

This time four years ago:
Ahead of the opening of Warsaw's second Metro line

This time five years ago:
Keep an eye on Ukraine...
(Portents of troubles to come)

This time six years ago:
Płock by day, Płock by night 

This time seven years ago:
Warning ahead of railway timetable change

This time ten years ago:
Some thoughts on recycling

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sure you know JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter in cafes close to the Old Town.

You missed a reference to the Oxford Bar in your pic of Young Street, the favourite of Ian Rankin's Rebus.