Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Back from the Burgh

We're back from Edinburgh. We got off to a shaky start. Since I knew which exit to take out of the train station I naturally felt that the whole of Edinburgh was easily navigatable, and I could steer us to our hostel without looking at the map. I got very us close, about two blocks south of our destination (on Potterrow) before I admitted I had no idea where we were. Unfortunately we couldn't find Potterrow on the map at that point and ended up walking back to the train station and starting over, this time looking at the map every few blocks.

But, it ended up becoming one of the more pleasant holidays Jessamy and I have been on, partly owing to the fact that we've been to the city before and didn't feel so pressured to see everything, and partly due to the fact that we planned our days around where to eat, other than what to look at.

I really enjoyed the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Each painting in the gallery was a portrait of a Scot, though not all the artists were Scottish. I particularly liked the section with the more recent works of art. Calum Colvin made some very interesting, though I admit gimmicky, pieces like this "James MacMillan, b. 1959. Composer1996"

I also liked
Douglas Gordon's Selfportrait as Kurt Cobain, as Andy Warhol, as Myra Hindley, as Marilyn Monroe

On Tuesday we ate breakfast at the Elephant House, where JK Rowling is reputed to have written part of Harry Potter. The decor was, predictably, of an elephant theme, but I can see where it would be a good place to relax, though I can only guess that she just went there for the coffee since the croissant I ordered was a bit stale.

The BBC and weren't entirely wrong in their forecast of snow. I didn't see any snowfall on the ground, but there was snow in the mountains.
And one last photograph, of an alleyway I thought looked nice. I wasn't the one who took the picture. If you see a finger in any photograph on this blog, the photo was probably taken by Jessamy. It's her "signature". By the way, I'm not saying this out of malice, she freely admits that a good portion of her photographs have either a finger or many strands of hair in the shot.

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