Monday, 26 August 2013

Scotland 2013 - #6 - Edinburgh - secret places off the Royal Mile

As you wander down Edinburgh's Royal Mile from the Castle to Holyrood Palace the sides of the road are lined with old buildings several stories high with narrow alleys running between them.

At first these entry-ways may not look very enticing but venture down a few as I did and all sorts of surprises can be found.

You can, of course, go on a guided tour - there are several on offer and you'll learn all about the history of the area (hubby and daughter sampled the Ghost and Torture tour a while ago) - but I prefer to wander around on my own and discover things by accident.

Some alleys lead down to court-yards with curious buildings hidden there. I rather wish I could have gone inside this one to explore the strange staircase. A neighbouring building was open to the public, being used as an exhibition space for a group of crafts-people, so I could have a peep inside that with its amazing plaster ceilings - but didn't take photographs.

Some give you a glimpse of Edinburgh's historic high-rise dwelling.

Others lead to quiet spots more reminiscent of a village than a city centre.

and some have gardens hidden behind those towering buildings.

This was my favourite though - Dunbar's Close.

Through the short tunnel, I was amazed to find a wonderfully peaceful garden with flowers, herbs and fruit trees

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Scotland 2013 - #5 Edinburgh Old Town

Left on my own for a morning, I spent my time wandering up and down Edinburgh's Royal Mile and the places close by, looking upwards to roof-lines and ignoring the Fringe performers that thronged the roads...

Olde-worlde sky-scrapers


Friday, 23 August 2013

Scotland 2013 - #4 - Edinburgh - free fringe music

In Edinburgh at festival time there's the sound of music everywhere. At the on-street stages on the Royal Mile, the HMV Garden in Princes' Street gardens, free music in many pubs and clubs all day long, on street corners or entertaining punters queueing at the Half-price Ticket Hut for a bargain

Where else would you find a busker like this?

But this is my favourite place - the National Museum of Scotland. Outside the streets are busy and bustling; inside all is calm and quiet.

I managed to catch three of the acts performing there as part of the Free Fringe Music events held at lunchtimes.

Jennifer Port playing the clarsach.

Skerryvore, a Scottish tradition fusion band that I loved and instantly checked out on You-tube when I got home

and the fiddle and piano duo of Rua MacMillan and Suzanne Houston

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Scotland 2013 - #3 - Edinburgh Fringe

After a few days of peace and quiet on the west Coast, we headed for the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh at festival time.
 Fancy an evening out at the theatre?

maybe catch some stand-up comedy?

or a Greek tragedy?

it's all there somewhere...

                     ...card tricks..

   ...even an improvised silent movie
Whichever you choose, time will surely pass!