I’m just back from a few days in Edinburgh. When I was younger I studied in Glasgow so I haven’t spent that much time in Edinburgh. This may be my fifth or sixth trip. With that in mind it is still an adventure to visit. There’s a chance of finding something unexpected.
Living in the highlands life can be a bit quiet, so I was simply visiting to have a look around the city, do some shopping and eat some international food. It’s been a while since I took a walk with my camera and I was looking forward to take some photos. The weather was good, much warmer than the highlands and I was able to get a few walks. I didn’t even need my coat.
My main walk took me from Castle Terrace at one end of Princess Street Gardens around the shops on Princess Street and George Street before heading up towards the Castle then down through the Grass Market to return to my hotel. It’s not a very long walk, but there’s plenty to see.
Starting from Castle Terrace we see a beautiful morning view of the castle.
Then moving along Princess Street we find ‘Castle Coffee’ which I noted had good reviews online. I like to see coffee and food stalls around cities. They are convenient for picking up coffee and drinking it in a park or on a bench. They also provides casual employment opportunities. And it’s nice to support smaller businesses. That’s that Parish Church of St Cuthbert in the background.
Just a few metres further along Princess Street you can look up to see the Castle from a different perspective.
Just behind the hedge seen above and in between Princess Street and the Castle we have Princess Street Gardens. I had a slow walk through.
One of the stand out features of Princess Street Gardens is Ross Fountain. It’s a 19th century cast iron fountain. A lot of people were enjoying the morning sunshine around the fountain when I walked past.
If you look at Ross Fountain from the West Side we see the front of The Parish Church of St Cuthbert.
At this point I took a detour from the Gardens to do some shopping on Princess Street and George Street. I also wanted for a coffee. I decided to go to Lowdown. I was pleasantly surprised to see pour over on the menu.
The staff at the Lowdown were very friendly and helpful. They gave a good description of the types of coffee bean they had for pour over. The coffee was served in a ceramic jug and matching cup. I asked the server how they prepare it and they use a Kalita Wave and water at 94 degrees with one continuous pour. I use a Kalita Wave at home and I tend to typically pour at 95 degrees. But I think I should really try different temperatures each time I get a new coffee. I picked up my interest in pour over in Japan where the Kalita is popular.
The coffee I had was really good. It had a strong aroma. Slightly acidic and chocolatey with a hint of nuttiness. I tend to put a little milk in my pour over, but I ended up not using it this time. I did buy some of the coffee to bring home.
You may spot from the pictures that I’m reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying at the moment. It’s a very thoughtful book and quite poetic in places. I do recommend it. These kind of books help with difficult times and also help to prepare us for the later stages of life.
After a little shopping and coffee, time to head back towards the park and continue my walk. Coming out of the gardens we can walk up the mound crossing the railway lines and head towards the Royal Mile. When taking a slow walk around a city it’s fun to pay attention to the details. For example cast iron railings, signage, stonework etc.
I didn’t take that many photos on the Royal Mile or around the Castle. It’s a very popular spot and crammed with visitors. I did take one shot on Lady Stair’s Close. There are a number of these historical closes around. The building in front is The Writers’ Museum. I didn’t go inside as I was more focussed on an outdoors walk, but I’ve noted to go back sometime to take a look. They have an awesome sign.
Just up from the Royal Mile you reach the Lawn Market. You can turn off and walk down a little side street called Upper Bow. From here you get quite a nice view of W Bow which leads down to the Grass Market.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much Harry Potter paraphernalia for sale. I guess it’s a major draw for international visitors. Co-incidentally the game Hogwarts Legacy just launched and I am playing it. I did enjoy the HP films, but I wouldn’t call myself a Potter-head.
Finally, walking down the grass market and back towards Castle Terrace you get good views of the castle from the other side.
The building on the right appears to be Cold Town Beer shop and they have some beautiful lilac flowers running up the side. If you zoom in you will see I unintentionally caught a dog mid-poop. Or rather, I recommend not zooming in.
What a joy it is to visit a city and take a walk with the camera!