Categories
Photoblog Photography Scotland

A Short Trip to Edinburgh

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.

The Castle as seen from Castle Terrace

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.

Someone catching a rest with some winter sun in Princess Street Gardens

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.

Ross Fountain, Princess Street Gardens
Ross Fountain with the Castle in the background
Ross Fountain through the trees in Princess Street Gardens

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.

Two trains passing on the way into Waverley station as seen from the bridge

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.

View of W Bow from Upper Bow

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.

Resident, customer, staff member looking out the window on W Bow?

Finally, walking down the grass market and back towards Castle Terrace you get good views of the castle from the other side.

The Castle from the end of The Grass Market

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!

Categories
Photoblog Switzerland

A return to Zurich

I spent January 2020 in Zurich. This was part of my luxurious plan to start 2020 somewhere beautiful with time set aside to indulge in reading, walks and taking photographs.

Ever since my first trip to Zurich in 2017 I’ve been thinking of living in Switzerland. This was also an investigative trip.

Categories
Japan Photoblog

A walk around Asakusa

I had a free afternoon so decided to take walk around Asakusa. This historic district of Tokyo is one of my favourite spots.

The area is well known as the home of Senso-ji. One of the most famous temples in Tokyo. The entrace to Senso-ji; known as Kaminari-mon gate, has a giant lantern. It’s a popular photo spot. Look to the left of Asakusa station on the below map. You can find a big picture of Kaminari-mon gate on a previous blog post.

Categories
Japan Photoblog Photography

24 hour sushi in Akihabara at Isomaru・アキバの磯丸水産の寿司居酒屋

Tokyo is a beautifully colourful place.

I really appreciate good design in life. When people, businesses and local authorities make an effort. A lot of elements come together to make a place enjoyable. The shape of the buildings, the colours, the cleanliness, the ease of getting around.

Life can be busy, it can get tiring commuting around, rushing to work, rushing to meet people. Everything is a better when the places we go feature interesting and beautiful design.

One of my genuine beliefs is it shouldn’t just be about minimising costs and maximising profits, it should be about making the world a better place.

Categories
Japan Photoblog Photography

Gion, Kyoto ・ 祇園、京都

It’s 2018 and I decided to start the first week of the year with a ‘photo-walk’ around Gion in Kyoto.

Gion is the traditional district of Kyoto, think old style restaurants, souvenirs shops etc.

Categories
Thoughts on Life

Brick lane, cultural contrasts

Brick lane is famous for it’s Indian restaurants. Historically it’s a Bangladeshi community. This makes it an interesting spot to walk around. In addition to the restaurants you can find market stalls and Indian sweet shops.

Brick lane also hosts food markets at the weekends. There are a number of intersting stores too; vintage fashion, art, vinyl etc.

Categories
London Photoblog Photography

Chelsea, London

Time for another Sunday photowalk. This week I went to Chelsea in West London. Chelsea has the reputation of being a wealthy area. I was expecting rich ladies in 4×4 cars (known as Chelsea tractors), plastic surgery, Lamborghini’s with Qatar plates etc.

But, it was more like churches, cute houses, old buildings and classic cars.

Categories
London Photoblog Photography

Chiltern Street, London

Today I went for a walk around Chiltern Street in Marylebone. I think it’s quite a famous spot with its beautiful red-brick townhouses.

I also spotted a couple of nice cars.

I normally take candid street photos, but I’ve been wanting to work on my confidence to ask people if I can take their photo. I saw some friendly-looking people outside of ‘Trunk’ store, it was a lovely scene, so I asked if I could photograph them. They kindly agreed.

Categories
Switzerland

Zurich – a hidden gem

This last Wednesday I had an overnight trip out to Zurich for a business workshop. It was a 4.30 am start, but totally worth it.

The reason I love travel so much is the joy of having a change every day. Even a business trip is an opportunity to meet new people, try local food and if lucky have enough time for a stroll at the end of the day.

The Zurich trip was busy, but I managed to fit in an hour long photo walk around the old town area between eight and nine pm.

Categories
Uncategorized

Stairs – a study, Dongdaemun, Seoul

There is relatively modern design plaza in the centre of Seoul. I decided to take a few photographs as the architecture is quite unusual.

This post is about one set of stairs.

Categories
Uncategorized

OCT Loft (Shenzhen Contemporary Art Centre)

I went to OCT Loft in Shenzhen yesterday. It’s a contemporary art centre in a former industrial complex. The look and feel of OCT Loft reminded me of Moganshan 50 (M50) in Shanghai, I posted some pictures about my trip there last year.

I only had a little time so I didn’t go inside many places; but I am definitely going to go back, in the meantime I can share some pictures of the complex and exhibition hall A:

Categories
Uncategorized

Hello Taipei

I’ve had three days in Taipei. I’m feeling good about this city; it has positive vibe. Today I went for a walk along Dihau Street. It’s a fairly traditional area with a lot of shops selling things like tea and herbal medicine.

There are some vibrant, busy scenes. But even in amongst those you can catch people taking a rest from the hot afternoon sun. Check out the guy in the truck cab.

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Uncategorized

Ford Ranchero, reading manga, and Nakano sights

I snapped a few nice shots around Tokyo in the last few days. I spotted another sweet classic parked up in Harajuku. This is a Ford Ranchero, it’s the first time I saw one in real life, I think it’s the slightly less popular competitor to the El Camino. This one looks awesome in gloss black.

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Uncategorized

A short trip to Asakusa

Today was a chill day. I didn’t have any exercise scheduled. My main plan was to study some Japanese and graphic design and to head over to Asakusa and maybe take a few photos.

To be honest, the day was a bit of a fail, I couldn’t concentrate at all and it was way too hot to walk around taking photos for a long time.

However, I did take a few shots in Asakusa. The area is famous for Sensoji 浅草寺 – it’s a temple complex that many people visit. There are a lot of shops selling traditional japanese products. There are also a lot of traditional restaurants.

Categories
Uncategorized

Sendagaya Jeep

The highlight of the day was a classic jeep spotted in Sendagaya (千駄ヶ谷), Tokyo (東京)

I saw this on the way from the Tokyo Metropolitan Gym to Omotesando. The metropolitan gym has a training room, pool and finess studio available for public use for 600 yen per session. It’s great for visitors who don’t want the hassle of a membership.

Categories
Germany

London to Tokyo via Frankfurt

My last three months – suits, ironing,  americanos, the client office, ms excel, paper, meetings, timetables, stress relief beer, stress relief chocolate and escapism netflix.

But I finished up last Friday in London, it’s Thursday now and I’m sitting in Starbucks Omotesando in Tokyo.

Categories
Poetry Thailand

Through the window (on the bus in Bangkok)

Young or old,
Is there anywhere you want to go?

Look out for them,
Charging around, in a bright flash of red or blue.

You have to share,
But a sense of community can be found their.

Relax in your seat,
A moment of freedom is found.

Books, music, snooze or chat,
What will you do?

I will simply sit back and enjoy the view.

Categories
Thailand

Getting wet in Bangkok

As I left my apartment I looked carefully in all directions; making sure it was clear, I immediately flagged down a taxi. I had to be quick, I knew they could be waiting, just out of sight, ready to get me. As soon as I was in the taxi the driver locked the doors and warned me not to open the window. We both knew the danger.

The roads were busy, but the driver was good, he rushed down some side streets. I might still make my appointment.

Categories
Thailand Thoughts on Life

Life’s changing perspective

Yesterday afternoon I was browsing wordpress and I saw the discover challenge  to post about perspective. Coincidently earlier that morning I took a photo of two work men from an unusual top down perspective as they sat on a truck cab.

Categories
Uncategorized

Autumn is here

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons of the year. After the (sometimes) hot summer days I enjoy a return to crisp fresh air. The parks can be particularly beautiful. Many of the trees turn from green to yellow and brown; and countless other shades.