Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

When in Edinburgh, we stayed at the Old Windsor Hotel which was very central, opposite Waverley Railway Station, outside the tourist bus stop and along side an amazing park.  The Sir Walter Scott Monument was right outside our doorstep, standing in the Princes Street Gardens.  The Scott Monument was built to commemorate Sir Walter Scott, one of Scotland's greatest novelists - he wrote Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Heart of Midlothian & Waverley.  If you wish to climb its 287 steps you may see a full 360 degree view of Edinburgh.  Note the darkish colour, nearly black, of the stonework.  Most old buildings, included Westminster Abbey even, would be this colour if not cleaned regularly.  The air, soot and aging discolour the stone so much.

In the West Princes Street Gardens there were numerous bench seats scattered throughout.  Each had a plaque attached and after a while I paused to read some.  I was surprised to read one with a "homely" content; so I'd like to know if anyone can enlighten me upon the reason why if you know of these people?
Does anyone know this family?

The Thistle is an emblem of Scotland and they were growing within this park.

I hadn't realized it was the 100th Anniversary of the Girl Guides, had you? A fitting display of flowers was congratulating such a fine establishment.

Further along we had childhood memories brought back with a magnificent Merry-Go-Round, so much nicer than ones I'd seen as a child at the circus when it visited town.

After enjoying an icecream, we ventured on to the Markets within the Gardens!  Shops!!!!  What a treat!  Not "cheap" markets, but truly artistic, quality vendors, selling their wares.  The West End Fair.

They were on different levels, some in the gardens, some in buildings and many in the "caves" under a bridge.  No space was left unused.  Very shallow "shops" and the further along the bridge you were the less the overhead room.
The Gardens were magnificent and sprinkled with monuments such as this one, showing Edinburgh Castle in the background. Note the steep cliffs it is built upon. That's one of the main things that fascinated me about this ancient city - it seemed to be on layers with roads going over each other with shops and houses underneath the bridges rather than open spaces. Stairs, don't mention the word! We joked about them but agonized up and down each flight that confronted us.

See what I mean by the layers?  Shops with other shops, pathways and thoroughfares above them, unseemingly on their roofs because the architecture of the buildings above doesn't match those below so they must have been built separately.  It truly was layer upon layer.  Those "homes" at the top of the picture were built on top of the ones underneath.

You will see a road in the middle of this picture (though showing small here), right underneath the bridge from where I was standing as I took this photo; note all the roofs of other buildings showing underneath too.
See what I mean by flights of endless steps taking you from one level to another?  This was one of 3 flights of stairs just for this little venture to get from point A to point B.  Thank goodness they were going down, the girls refused to walk "up" any after Day One!!!

Why did we come back heavier?  We should've lost weight with all the walking we did!!!  Sandy and Liz are taking a breather waiting for me to take a photo to show you.
Over the weekend just gone, we made a rush trip to visit Melinda (2nd daughter) and family on the South Coast, some 5 hours drive away.  It was her birthday and she's been having severe back problems again so needed a "boost".  We all need our Mum when things are miserable, don't we?  Another visit to the Neurosurgeon this week. Admidst rain and gusty winds we watched a Netball Grand Final and a hockey game but this was nothing compared to what was happening elsewhere.  A large part of Victoria is under flood and our friends in Christchurch, New Zealand suffered a major earthquake.  Our thoughts are with you all and though there have been no fatalities amazingly enough, we can see on the News what disastrous difficulties you are now faced with.  I believe the Craft & Quilt Fair in Christchurch is still going ahead.  Many of our friends left Australia today to participate in the C&Q Fair in Hamilton this weekend with Christchurch happening the following weekend.  Do visit both shows if you are able to. 
Visit http://www.craftfair.com.au/ for more details.

We are gearing up for our Machine Embroidery Retreats commencing this Saturday.  Full details here.

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