September 30, 2006

Edinburgh Rooftops

The rooftops of the New Town, particularly nearer the Princes Street side are certainly not as impressive as the spires and gable ends of the Old Town. That said, looking from the Scott Monument north towards the Firth of Forth and onwards to Fife is still a pleasant enough view.

September 29, 2006

Princes Street Scene

Looking down from the Scott Monument, you get a perfect view of the hustle and bustle of Princes Street. Edinburgh's maroon coloured double-decker buses are very distinctive, and indeed I have ditched the car commute and joined the ranks of the bussing commuters as of August this year. My bus is the number 10...for some reason, it's never one of the more modern buses in the fleet!

September 28, 2006

Waverley Bridge

Waverley bridge is where the tour buses and the buses to the airport depart from. You can see the platforms from Waverley station extending out from under the bridge, the roof of the station and the Old Town in the background. The train lines are pretty much the boundary between the Old and New Town. The bridge has a bit of a bend to it and I always think one day it's going to crack under the weight!

September 27, 2006


You really do step back decades, into retailing history when you walk into Jenners, the UK's oldest independent department store. At least it used to be able to boast that title, but it was bought by the House of Fraser group a few years ago but the distinctive Jenners name stays. It is one of the these labyrinthine stores with pillars, half floors, back passages to hidden departments and a nightmare for those who like to get in, find what they're looking for and get back out again!

September 26, 2006


I'm back! It's been quite a weekend and getting back to work on Monday was a bit of an anti-climax. Anyway, despite having just polished off a lovely home-made Thai green curry, I felt in the mood to share some traditional Scottish food with you. Here we have haggis, neeps and tatties...Scotland's national dish! Enjoy!

September 22, 2006

Busy Weekend coming up

Sorry folks, but I have a mad busy weekend coming up and won't have time to post anyhting over the next few days. Will be back on Tuesday once everyone has left! Have a great weekend!

September 20, 2006

The Scotsman

The Scotsman newspaper is Edinburgh's only national contribution to journalism, and is a good, serious paper. Edinburgh is far too posh to publish tabloids! Glasgow is undoubtedly the capital of Scottish media, both broadcasting and print. The building they currently occupy, behind the Parliament was purpose-built a few years ago. Their previous home was a rather sumptious old building on North Bridge, by the station. It is now a luxury hotel! Everything changes in Edinburgh.

September 19, 2006

Blogger Trouble

Having problems uploading today's photo and am now heading to bed! Night night!

September 18, 2006

Smoking Ban...6 months on

These signs are up at the airport and railway station greeting visitors as they arrive in Scotland. The smoking ban has been in place now for 6 months and is working very well. Admittedly there have been winners and losers. Pubs serving food have seen takings increase substantially while some pubs whose customers are mainly old men have lost money or closed. Many however have been taken over and given a new lease of life. One spit and sawdust old man's pub near me, The Old Salt, closed in the summer. It re-opened three weeks ago as Destination, a drag-queen gay cabaret bar! Quite a transformation!

September 17, 2006

Scots for Sale

Whoever came up with the idea for this collection of coasters, T-shirts, mousepads and mugs must have made a fortune from it. When I lived in Japan, I got sent a mug and mousepad with everyday Scots words on them like these and I really treasured them...I had a 'fitba' mug and a 'blether' mousepad. These are really popular, especially as they give a Scots dictionary defintion of what each word means and examples of usage. Any guesses on what the words mean...Scots, let the others have a go first.

September 16, 2006

Public Lobby

Inside the entrance lobby to the Parliament, you can find out all sorts of information about the function of the parliament and about how the democratic process works in elections May 2007...with the factional infighting in the Labour Party at a UK level, they could be interesting. Anyway, the lobby has this odd curved ceiling with lots of little odd-shaped crosses on it. Any guesses what they are meant to represent? I'll give the answer later (at least what the guides say they are meant to represent!)

September 15, 2006

Fancy Gates

Nothing is plain and simple at the Parliament Building...thinking pods, curtain pelmets, bamboo-like oak sunscreens, hardly a straight line in sight and Charles Rennie Mackintosh inspired security gates on the Canongate side of the building. Fabulous! You either love this building or loathe it!

September 14, 2006

Back to the Parliament

One of the reasons why our shiny new Parliament ended up so ridiculously over budget was the extra security features which were put in place following the events in the US five years ago. Suddenly, a supposedly open and transparent "British" government building, especially one less than 100m from a royal residence, might just be a security threat. So these lovely walls were added to protect the buildings from car-bomb blasts.

September 13, 2006

For the serious shoppers

When the old bus station was knocked down and redeveloped into a lovely, shiny new one, Edinburgh also got a smart new shopping street full of boutiques and designer shops and a rather large Harvey Nichols store, for the serious shoppers amongst you. I've been in once and have to say it's not really my kind of place, but it has an excellent restaurant on the 'Forth' floor and the building has been built in a modern, but quite Edinburgh style.

September 12, 2006

Perfect Match?

Defence lawyers sharing office space with the Scottish Community Drama Association on Queen Street...a match made in heaven?!

September 11, 2006

John Knox House

In response to a recent request, this is the house of John Knox on the Canongate, part of the Royal Mile. John Knox was the leader of the protestant reformation in the 16th century and primarily responsible for moving the Church of Scotland down a very traditional, Calvinist path. He was a sworn enemy of Mary, Queen of Scots, one of the tragic figures of Scottish history.

September 10, 2006

An empty Princes Street Gardens

This kind of picture is a welcome sight for most Edinburghers. I think most people in the city have enjoyed the return to relative normality that comes with the end of the Festival Season. Even last weekend, a photo such as this would have been unimaginable but the tourists have left, the locals are at work and you can get a seat on the buses again!

September 09, 2006

Princes Street

All roads lead to Princes Street, at least for the buses anyway. Cars are more or less banned from driving along it, so unless you know the city centre well, driving can seem a bit convoluted at times. It's our main shopping street, full of the usual high street chains, some very twee tartan shops, and cafés with wonderful views of the castle and the gardens.

September 08, 2006

Looking down into the Old Town

From high up, you get a fantastic view of some of the roofs and buidlings of the Old Town and you get to appreciate a perspective you just don't get from ground level.

September 07, 2006

Looking towards Fife

Another view from the top of the Scott Monument taken by Andrea. This time we're looking north across the rooftops of the New Town out towards the Firth of Forth and beyond to the kingdom of Fife.

September 06, 2006

Looking Down

My friend Andrea from Bologna, kindly uploaded the photos from his visit to Scotland to my computer before he went home, so I've got some shots from someone else's viewpoint, including some places I've either never been, or wouldn't go. With my head for heights, you would not find me climbing the Scott Monument, far less looking down! Grazie mille per le tue foto!

September 05, 2006

Fireworks Concert

The Sunday night at the end of the International Festival is the night of the Fireworks Concert at Edinburgh castle. To me, and yes I'm a little biased, it's the most spectacular fireworks display in the world. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra plays a piece of classical music at the Ross Band Stand in Princes Street Gardens. The music is relayed through loudspeakers to the thousands watching on Princes Street, and is also played live on local radio. The fireworks from the castle are let off in time to the music. It is truly spectacular and with the castle as such a magnificent backdrop to the fireworks, it is a magical evening. My photos are unable to do the event justice, but hopefully you can get a feel for it.

September 04, 2006

Indian Food

The food stalls at the Mela festival were fantastic! As Kris in Hungary wanted to see a photo of the samosas, I decided to go one better and let your mouth drool over this wonderful selection of fine Indian food. One thing I love about living in a fairly multi-cultural part of tows in the great selection of places to eat nearby.

September 03, 2006

Edinburgh Mela

This weekend sees the Edinburgh Mela Festival, held in Pilrig Park. The Mela is Scotland's largest inter-cultural festival. It is a riot of colour, sound and a wonderful multi-cultural day out. Originally started as a celebration of Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi culture, Edinburgh's first Mela was held in 1995. Today, other communities are also involved in the festival. The food stalls, as you can imagine, are fantastic, although it is a sign of the times when you see Scottish lads in tracksuits eating samosas and pakora, and Indian girls in saris eating chips!

September 02, 2006

Our Dynamic Earth

Our Dynamic Earth is a hands-on geology exhibition which explains how the earth was formed and how it has constantly evolved ever since. It is located on the edge of Holyrood Park, next to the Parliament and was built as a Millennium project...sort of Scotland's version of the Millennium Dome, although having had a lot more success. It's also a great venue for events. Us graduatiing secondary school teachers had our graduation ball there in was weird having aperitifs in the rainforest before making our way through to the main room for food and dancing.

September 01, 2006

DP Theme Day: Doors

Today's theme for Daily Photobloggers is Doorways.

And this I have to admit is a pretty cool door, or doors. This is the entrance to the office of SCCYP (the Scottish Commissioner for Children and Young People). In order that children don't feel dwarved by the big door as they come in, they have a special door where they can feel tall and important too. My friend who works there tells me that even big teenagers like to go through the small door too!

44 other Daily Photo sites are participating in the September theme.

Please use the links to below to visit them.

Due to time zone differences and other factors, the theme photo may not be displayed until later if you are viewing early in the day.

If you view after the date then you may find the theme no longer accessible on some sites, but the majority will be available in archives.

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