ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.
After our walk down the River Almond Walkway and then the Causeway Crossing over to Cramond Island it was still fairly early, due to our dawn departure from Glasgow- around lunchtime- mid day. So we jumped on a bus for a few stops to here. Dean Bridge. The highest point above the Water of Leith Walkway, with great views down into this deep river gorge. It was also near here that I obtained the previous post's photograph's of Fettes College and Stewart's Melville College while Anne had a seat, a rest, and a sandwich.
Refreshed, she was then ready to tackle the next highlight of our trip, which was down into this impressive gorge then along the bottom, following the stream, down to Leith and the docks. You can just make out the walkway here in this photo. It's also impressive at this point, looking up from below, enclosed by the surrounding cliffs, period architecture, and rising woodlands with Dean Bridge an almost impossible lofty span above your head. It makes you really appreciate the skill, vision, and ambition of Edinburgh's stone masons from that previous era of building to create the wonderfully elaborate city around you today.
It's only a few miles from Dean Bridge down into Leith, passing the Botanic Gardens on the way. This is us just reaching the edge of Leith here where the widening stream/river and several canal/dock offshoots create a mini Venice or Amsterdam.
As it was a still, quiet, winter's day fabulous reflections covered the water surface here- so much so that it seemed entirely possible to walk across the river on solid ground as it was a perfect illusion- not a single ripple to break the spell at this point. A mind deceiver as good as any desperate witch could cast from the stake.
Even the house styles here look European- low countries architecture a big inspiration through past trading links.
Mary of Guise, (see photo detail of canal barge) ruled Scotland for six years, despite being a French Catholic as she was married to King James of Scotland in 1538, Scotland and France having much closer political ties then than today, mainly united to counter the threat of an English power grab. The auld enemy of both countries for centuries past. Mary was the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots who succeeded to the throne as a baby when her father, King James died. Mary of Guise, ruling Scotland as regent, attempted to turn Scotland into a mainly Catholic country, in line with France, but this plan set her daughter on a collision course and eventually sealed her demise at a later date as an adult, when the Protestant religion gained the upper hand.
The waterways of Leith. Always something of interest to see here... and at the adjoining Port of Leith.
Vos Defender. Port of Leith. A standby safety ship.
Twins. F S Bergen and F S Crathes. Both are offshore supply ships.
F.S Pegasus. Another offshore supply ship for the North Sea- presumably connected to the oil industry.
Fingal. A luxury floating hotel berthed here at the docks. We both liked it down here. Much quieter and far less hectic than central Edinburgh's packed tourist streets yet still plenty to see. Plenty of room to stretch and breathe. Although only a couple of miles away Leith feels far more like the real Edinburgh I used to travel into- a different world- where the locals live. If I visit a Scottish town or city, I like that regional difference- very obvious in both Dundee and Kirkcaldy, when I travel on the local buses there, often just for the enjoyment itself as much as any exploration purposes and bask in the delights of the local lingo, taking pleasure in noticing small but distinctive cultural changes. That doesn't happen much in central Edinburgh anymore, where Scottish, or even English is not the dominant culture/language in the district within the tourist zone, except in the tartan and bagpipe shops, selling the popular tourist image of Scotland abroad. Same as if I travelled to France or Italy I would try to find and immerse myself in the authentic local culture there, rather than sit for the entire trip in a British theme bar. If I've had too much local culture to handle or just plain homesick Brit bars are good bolt holes of familiarity to step into but on the whole I prefer to see the real thing when abroad so I can't really blame any tourist for doing the same :o) Mind you, outside of the tourist zones, on the outskirts, like any city or town, Edinburgh becomes more dangerous. Less safe. Mainly because you are surrounded by locals... who may or may not have a perceived grievance against anyone different from them... or anyone the same. Humanity being humanity.
Not around the Port of Leith itself, which is still an underused tourist attraction with its shipping, waterfront shops and ever changing sea traffic but in the housing estates and nondescript back streets... so that was where we went next :)
A row of tugs/pilot boats at rest. Oxcar and Seal Carr belonging to Forth Ports, Scotland's biggest and busiest waterway complex nowadays and the UK's 3rd largest port authority, apparently. Always something different to see around the Port of Leith.
An older gable end Leith mural. A bit faded now and hard to make out details so I've restored it here to its former glory and colour, depicting all the trades and local industry that took place in Leith in former times.
A view of Leith Flats and Arthur's Seat behind them.
Between Leith and the neighbouring coastal district of Newhaven there exists a no person's land of waste ground, small factory units, and a few chain fences bordering silent, deserted back streets, empty over-spill lots and outlying docks. This is where we found Edinburgh's mural wall. Unlike the one in Glasgow, near Finnieston, where invited artists recently painted elaborate murals on the railway arches with a presumably strict no graffiti remit...... Edinburgh's main (apparently unofficial) mural wall seems open to all with far less control over content. A long high wall runs parallel to the coast with another smaller wall beside it. Graffiti is the dominant feature but a range of different murals can also be found walking along it.
It's not really a tourist haunt as such. But we both enjoyed it. Anne doing her own version of Kiesza's Hideaway
dance routine video by skipping around the puddles, inspired no doubt by this lookalike backdrop. I had to admit she was pretty good for a non- dancer. Energetic anyway. Ten years of watching Saturday night, brain draining, ' family TV ', which I've successfully managed to avoid for the last 40 years of existence on this good green Earth, has not gone entirely un-wasted on her part. Although a natural 'Bah Humbug!' person by inclination, I can tell fluid artistic endeavour and raw commitment when I see it performed in front of me. Four out of five stars from this lone Strictly judge.
It had enough interest to keep our/my attention. As there's no community or housing nearby and it's basically empty waste ground, similar to the old velodrome at Meadowbank, which is now demolished, it's not hurting anyone, and it gives a blank canvas for aspiring artists... or aspiring dancers in her case.
This particular artist also has an archway design on Glasgow's mural wall. Because most artists use pseudonyms I didn't realise the majority were male until this was pointed out- probably because of where street art originates from. ie quiet back streets, possibly painted at night or early morning, remote areas... but this is changing now with more public art commissioned legally.
All out nuclear war. Fun and games for all the family.
A different style but still very good. I've always been interested in art which is the main attraction for me in open world games as the landscapes there are so convincing and improve every year, along with story and characters. So much so that they now surpass many big mainstream films for entertainment in certain cases as you can watch and enjoy them as films. What Remains of Edith Finch. Full film..... My Name is Kara: Detroit Become Human (No Commentary)... Firewatch. The Movie..... Bioshock Infinite....The Movie.... The Last of Us. Cinematic Playthrough.... being the proof of that.
This last mentioned game/film predicting a similar situation to the latest China/ W.H.O. fast moving currently perceived threat to humanity to keep us on our toes/ out of our 'comfort zone' / 'avoiding complacency ' scenario, but based no doubt on similar viruses that seemed to appear from nowhere in the past like Rabies, The Black Death, Aids and the Spanish Flu pandemic. All of which, in hindsight, make very interesting reading on Google as to how they occurred, within the half life of current factual information. (facts change with each new generation of course as we constantly learn new info. Sadly, most of the important 'facts', I learned in school in the 1960s are totally redundant now- as am I. An old head crammed full of largely useless knowledge from a past that no longer exists :o) Sniff, sniff. Wah!!!
But I still try to learn and adapt. All of these modern games are far more interesting and enjoyable than the last four/five years of Dr Who, the recent TV remakes of War of the Worlds (dull, done far better, more enjoyable with Tom Cruise film) His Dark Materials (listless and miscast, done far better as a film in The Golden Compass, which should have been a continuing trilogy IMHO.) and far, far better and more thought provoking than any number of Transformer or Fast and Furious films, or the lukewarm and overstretched source material of the Hobbit trilogy.
A few political murals. My own take on Brexit is that it will be bad for Scotland, prices will rise accordingly, and it's largely pointless now anyway. We will only be swapping EU controls for a larger USA dominance. With a climate change crisis, spiraling population levels, and mass animal and insect extinctions in the near future it's a bit like Nero playing his violin while Rome burns. A costly and long running distraction from what really matters. Pandemics often come out of nowhere and few folk apart from doctors and scientists expect them to occur. It may well start here with this one though.
Never mind. It's only a simulation after all. We can always reboot the game and start again with a fresh planet. And get it right next time.
And a nice nurse to cure all ills.
I liked this one as it uses the slim edge of the wall to get its message across....
The bottom half... the undeserving masses, living in the perpetual shade of the skyscraper city.
And onward to Newhaven... to be continued.....
By the way... for anyone interested in spectacular and very clever street art from around the world you should check out the link in the right hand side panel. S.A. Utopia. Little People, 3D worlds and full length gable murals inside. Stunning work in a variety of countries.