April 20, 2006

Nelson's Monument

Staying on top of Calton Hill, this is the Nelson Monument. For those interested in maritime history, the white ball at the top was one of the first landbased time-keeping devices for ships. At 1 o'clock, the ball falls from the top of the white pole to the bottom. However, the North Sea fog often being what it is, this turned out to be rather unreliable so as well as the falling ball, a gun was fired at 1 o'clock every day except Sunday from Edinburgh Castle. Both still happen today. It can be quite fun walking along Princes Street at 1pm when suddenly you hear 'Boom!' - locals look at their watches and tourists jump!


Sam said...

Wow - what a strange way of keeping time! Lovely picture!

Nicola said...

Ah, so this is how you can tell tourists from locals... :)