I was also taking the bike along.You can cycle all of it though its better to walk some of the narrower sections out of consideration for pedestrians dogs and children.It can get busy in summer.This was no hardship as it gave me plenty of time to look around and take photographs.
If you like bombing along fast ,head down ,this city section is not for you as you will be stopping frequently except out of season.
I parked at my usual spot on Arboretum road just off Ferry road.Since my last visit Edinburgh has introduced monday to friday parking meters all around this part of the city but this road is still free at the moment.There are very few places now you can park in Edinburgh discreetly, free, yet safely without being in front of someones house.Nearby are the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens where you do have to pay to park now. This used to be a free road as well.Edinburgh loves its parking meters. It does have a problem with traffic congestion though.
This stretch was broad and fairly quiet.Everyone I did meet in passing seemed to be speaking a different language to English.
I,ve been convinced for a while now that Edinburgh will one day overtake Glasgow in size. All the jobs and growth infrastructure seems to be based here these days.
Although I love Glasgow I,m not one of these folk that can only see the merits of their own city.I,ve always loved exploring all cities everywhere, affluent and poorer districts alike and have a fairly good knowledge of most of Scotland,s urban areas.
Then Came Craiglochart Dell and Colinton Dell. Two wooded gorges I,ve always fancied visiting but never seemed to get around to it.Loads of stairs here to run up and down carrying the bike. Punish that flabby body! Beat that gut into submission. Mind you I got passed halfway up one long twisting stair by an old guy around seventy sprinting past.me like a bloody teenager. Fairly took the wind out my sails as I thought I was doing OK til that point.He was probably an ex Olympian though inspired by the games starting.
There used to be various mills around here also, the remains of which can still be seen today.It was a hot day so I was glad of the shade down here. By this point I,d spotted 4 kingfishers(No, it wasn,t the same one four times) Like robins they are territorial and fight over each small stretch of river kingdom.They never stay still long enough for decent photos.
How could they possibly expect to stick a large population and young families into buildings like these with very little amenities on offer and expect everything to turn out fine and dandy?A large chunk of the population of any city live in the outlying districts away from most tourists eyes but they are just as much an integral part of Edinburgh as the tourist hotspots ,helping to shape its culture and character over the years.Wester Hailes is also very Iconic in its own right with some amazing architectural styles and great views over the city.Bet the underpasses and tunnels around here have been a witness to some interesting events and have tale or two to tell.
Really enjoyed my trip.Good to be back in Auld Reekie once again.If you can avoid the rush hour week days as that can be a real pain in both cities.