I've saved the best for last in this final post on the charms of Edinburgh. I wanted an honest and real kaleidoscope of the images, evolving thoughts and feelings during my long, action packed, but not unduly hard walking day tour of Edinburgh. The capital is a great place for walking or cycling with the River Almond, The Water of Leith, The Union Canal, Arthur's Seat, Braid Hills, Corstorphine Hill and Blackford Hill all within the city limits yet laced with a network of walking and cycling tracks with many more dedicated paths and lanes connecting through the busy urban areas to the coastal promenade. The view above though is the one that excited me the most. An enchanting and seductive unknown forest captured with the mint fresh tang of bright green leaves in various hues. My sweet Persephone reborn:the eternal debutant daughter of Spring twirling in all her glory once again. More than 40 shades of green on offer here yet grey is where the masses seem to flock and heap attention on today. My gain and their loss. A glance at the map revealed it to be Duddingston golf course which explains why I've never visited this unknown and compelling area before now. Never mind....we will meet very soon for the rotunda dance under bright starlight.
Posted this particular link above because it is very hard to find any decent pictures of the popular public art sculpture which used to exist in the Craigmillar/Niddrie area. It was remarkable and unique both in size and in imagination yet despite being opened by Billy Connolly was mainly ignored by many in the art world and seems to have been forgotten, except by the locals. Jim Knowles appears to have been one of the few to capture it properly for posterity with his excellent kite photography so I hope he doesn't mind me linking to his site. If he does I'll remove it right away.
http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2009/07/27/7791-1467/ I only found out about this remarkable sculpture around five years ago as it was not widely publicized during it's lifetime as far as I know, certainly not in Glasgow as I don't remember it but maybe because it was by a former convict with a violent history and was situated in a deprived area as it was then before redevelopment. To me it's the concept that's important here years later, not the man behind it and I've often scratched my head at modern art works consisting of a few lines and a squiggle, yet supposedly worth millions. As soon as I saw this though my thought's were "Wow! Wish I'd visited it before it was removed." Yes, it is simplistic, straightforward, and "naive" but that's what makes it so special. A thing of wonder.
http://www.drneilsgarden.co.uk/ Link to gallery and info here.
I was further delighted on this amazing walk to find even this remarkable garden was not the highlight of my day. Next door, and maybe cared for by the garden staff or the locals in Duddingston, a brilliant wildlife scenario was taking place as the sun was going down and Duddingston loch revealed its true colours.
Which to photograph first? I concentrated my attention on the beetle as it was unfolding its wings to fly away and I didn't blame it with such shameless shenanigans going on.
I document these images only to show the viewers what really goes on in Edinburgh as the shadows... and other things... lengthen. Never in my puff have I witnessed such blatant debauchery. "Help ma Boab!" as Oor Wullie would say.
Sedate Glasgow has never looked so tame, appealing and peaceful and I couldn't leave Edinburgh fast enough. Must be because it's traditionally had ties to liberal Amsterdam and the Low Countries via it's ports facing Europe. Shocking stuff for a shy boy like me.