March 30, 2006

Victoria Street

Welcome first of all to three new daily photo blogs, Daejeon in South Korea, Gold Coast in Queensland (Australia) and Providence, Rhode Island (USA).
I love this street! I love the way it curves down to meet the Grassmarket, I love the split level on the right hand side with the top part going up to meet the castle, I love the colourful shops which were mentioned yesterday, both for their bright colours, but also because it's a fantastic street for browsing with lots of great little independent shops. When you come to Edinbutgh, don't miss Victoria Street - also, it has the city registry office at the top, so if you're lucky enough you'll get to see men in kilts at a wedding!

March 29, 2006

Castle and Grassmarket

Spring has arrived! It was a gloriously beautiful day today, and my classroom having lots of south-facing windows, it was rather hot inside! Here's a nice picture looking down towards the Grassmarket - a very popular area for going out, espcially for students as it's near the University - with the Castle sitting proudly atop the hill. From this picture, you can get an idea of the way Edinburgh's Old Town is built up the way with streets on top of one another. It's a great area to explore.

March 28, 2006

Signs in Scots

I was passing by this post office down in Canonmills, where I used to live, and I noticed for the first time that the signs on the doors are in Scots and not English. I thought it was great to see Scots being written and used in a more formal context. The ironic thing is that the post office and shop are owned by second generation Pakistani-Scots - it seems that new Scots have more confidence in how we speak than those that have lived here through the generations. I love seeing different languages being used, written and spoken and hope to see more signs around Scotland in Scots and Gaelic, not just English.

March 27, 2006

In the pink

It's been a dreich (wonderful Scottish word - so expressive, much better than dull/dismal) day in Edinburgh today but seeing this taxi parked downstairs always makes me feel a bit better. Following on from Nicola's post on Saturday and her pictures of Wiesbaden station, I thought I'd make Monday my transport-themed day and over time I'll show you some of the taxis, buses, trains etc that move us around our city. I think it's great that advertisers use the taxis and the taxi drivers get to make a bit more money from them - it helps brighten up the city.

March 26, 2006

No Smoking Day has arrived

As of 6am this morning, smoking in work and public places in Scotland is no longer permitted! We'll see how well it works, and while some pubs complain that they will lose customers, there is a large group of people out there who will begin to go out more now, myself included. One of the anomalies with the ban is that company vans and lorries are included as work places, so in theory, any lorry drivers smoking on their way up from England will have to stop smoking at the border! Also, all cross-border train services must be non-smoking throughout the entire journey if the final destination of the train is in Scotland! So, even if you're travelling from London to York, if the train is heading for Edinburgh, you won't find a smoking carriage on the train!

March 25, 2006

Commonwealth Pool

Far away in sunny Melbourne, as the Commonwealth Games draw to a close, I thought I would take this photo to pay tribute to the fantastic performance of the Scottish team at this year's games, especially of our swimmers who won 6 gold medals. This is the Royal Commonwealth Pool which was used when Edinburgh hosted the Games in 1970 and 1986 and where some of our medal-winning swimmers train. Behind is the extinct volcano of Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park. The buildings behind the pool are the University of Edinburgh's halls of often see drunk students climbing the hill in the early hours of the morning after a Friday or Saturday night out!

March 24, 2006

Thinking Pods

These are at the back of the parliament, and giving every one of the 129 MSPs one of these thinking pods in their offices didn't help keep costs down. The idea is that they will sit in these, look out over Holyrood Park and Arthur's Seat (name of a hill), reflect on the laws and issues and then come up with wonderful legislation. Their biggest contribution so far is the smoking ban in all work and public places which starts on Sunday! Hooray! No more smoky pubs! No more putting clothes in the washing machine right away after a night out! No more people in restaurants smoking while you're trying to enjoy your meal!

March 23, 2006

Scottish Parliament

Our new Parliament building continues to make the headlines. After being completed 4 years late and roughly £400 million over budget, the parliamentarians (MSPs) have had to vacate the debating chamber because one of the roof beams came loose and swung down, dangerously close to a Conservative MSP - not close enough some might say! Locals are divided as what they think of the buidling. It certainly stands out, and I'll post pictures of what it's like from the outside, but the inside is really something else. This is the main debating chamber - truly a spectacular working environment. As I was driving home through the Park and past the parliament, I could smell the first cut grass of the season, and coupled with it being a balmy 10°C, spring is in the air!!

March 22, 2006

Salisbury Crags

What a beautiful sunny morning it was this morning as I drove to work. I feel lucky that I drive around Holyrood Park, past the Queen's palace and the Scottish parliament and past these glorious cliffs every day. The nice weather didn't last today though...typical Scotland. I came home through a flurry of snow - winter's last throw of the dice I hope. Where is spring??

March 21, 2006


Welcome to Edinburgh. Bienvenue à Edimbourg. Benvenuti ad Edimburgo. Willkommen in Edinburgh. エディンバラへようこうそ! Fàilte gu Dun Eideann.
The first of my new daily photo blog really has to be our world famous castle. Here it is on a sunny day looking from the Botanic Gardens.