Traveller's tales

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sunday in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a delightful place, winter, spring, rain or shine, in August, at the hight of the festival, it is chaotic, congested and crowded, still splendid, but rather too busy for me.

Not so for my friends from China, Oman, Thailand and Saudi Arabia - they loved it. They loved the sights and sounds of this northern capital city, they loved the bridges and the sounds of invisible locomotives coming out of Waverley Station, heading south through Newcastle, York and Peterborough to London's Kings Cross Station.

They loved the blackness of the Scott Memorial on Princes Street, and they loved my explanation of why it was so black.

They loved the street performers and their antics, aloft on stilts or unicycles, pretending - successfully - to look like marble statues of Mary, Queen of Scots, and they loved the noise and the hullabaloo of the Edinburgh Festival.

I would have loved to sit through a performance of Malher's Das Lied von der Erde, or Bruckner's Fifth, or indeed the Military Tattoo on a darkening Esplanade - those performances are sold out for this year, I would have preferred Mozart and his pals, but there will be a next time, thankfully.

My friends from the Middle and Far East have the opportunity to come again and again to this great city. I will have to wait. A coin thrown in the Trevi Fountain means you will return to Rome - the view across Waverley Station and beyond to Calton Hill means I will return to this 'Athens of the North' in the not too distant future.
Robert L. Fielding

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