Sunday, May 16, 2010


The lilac blossoms at their peak together with their smaller friends the bluebells, had the most glorious views across Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth today from the top of Calton Hill. That's the hill where the old Observatory sits, where the one o'clock cannon ball drops on its tower, as closely in tandem with the sound of cannon. There you will find Edinburgh's Folly - pardon me, today that should read The National Monument - though in its time it was also known as Edinburgh's madness. The twelve Grecian columns, (derivative of the Parthenon) is as far as it got; the money ran out. It is though, more seriously, a war memorial of its time.

Who needs aerial views of Edinburgh when there are such glorious vistas over the rooftops of the old and new parts of the city as far as the eye can see. Even the newer constructs (bar one) are sympathetic to the whole. A cairn with a brazier atop, a more recent addition to this World Heritage Site, has already absorbed the character of its surroundings, and is well worth pausing at to study the various discreet information plaques upon and around it.

The public park, for that is what Calton Hill is, was being enjoyed respectfully by all age groups, some taking a rest on the grass. There was a quiet mix of many different languages being spoken. A group of English steam train buffs with four hours to spare, were studying the information boards. Matchstick men and women were seen to be climbing the majestic Salisbury Crags, it was the right kind of day for it.


Anonymous said...

What a vivid image this post conjures! Flighty xx

ZACL said...

I'm glad Mr F. I don't usually think of prose forms when enjoying a visit somewhere, I'm often busy chatting about a point of interest, but this visit was different. It evoked numerous thoughts and ideas as I walked and surveyed what was before me. But then, Edinburgh and some of its surrounds, does that, for a large number of people.


Anonymous said...

i've always fancied going to Edinburgh as it seems a somehow quite magical place with all that glorious scenic history everywhere.

ZACL said...

It's not easy to describe the feel of Edinburgh and its surrounds, its businesses and busy-ness, its civility, its presence, and all its other variations. Much of what is sensed is very personal. All of what is viewed is very public and some of it can be available.

I guess four hours might give a mini introductory flavour. On a day such as our visit was, Calton Hill is a 'must' and in that bracket, I believe the four hours that the steam buffs had, was very well spent.