I was hoping to meet my elder son on my visit to Edinburgh today but he was too busy at work so this picture of him and his partner Marianne enjoying their recent trip to Spain will have to do instead.
As it was Friday today, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to Edinburgh to visit the world’s greatest baby. We got to Lockerbie in plenty of time to catch the train and as it was a few minutes late, I also had time to take a picture of the surprisingly ornate Lockerbie Town Hall tower looming over the station.
When we got to Edinburgh, we had a little time on our hands as Clare was at the dentist so I took the opportunity to purchase a stout pair of winter trousers and Mrs Tootlepedal topped up on vests for the forthcoming chillier days.
While Mrs Tootlepedal did some further clothes browsing, I walked along Princes Street with camera in hand. It was a beautiful day.
To the south I could see the famous castle…..
The castle is situated on the end of a volcanic pipe and further down the pipe are a selection of impressive buildings. Right next to the castle is Ramsay Gardens, a set of elegant private houses now considered rather too noisy and too close to a tourist hotspot to be as desirable as they once were.
Below these impressive sights, the railway creeps along the bottom of the valley into Waverley Station.
He was the first Secretary of State for War and became, in 1806, the last person to be impeached in the United Kingdom, for misappropriation of public money. He got off but this might explain why there is no record of his name on the plinth of the column.
We followed the tram lines out of the square and were reminded that the New Town of Edinburgh is built on the top of a long slope down to the shores of the Firth of Forth and you are never far from a glimpse of the sea as you walk along its streets.
…and headed back to Princes Street for some shopping. I was delegated to wheel Matilda up and down the pavement outside the shop while the experts went in and bought things. She slept peacefully while I sauntered up and down and my sense of entitlement was so great because I was pushing a baby that pedestrians parted before me like the Red Sea as I went along and I didn’t had to deviate from my course once.
It was such a lovely day when the shoppers came out that instead of taking the direct route, we walked back to Matilda’s home by way of Calton Hill. I last visited Calton Hill in March when we came to visit Al and Clare before Matilda was born. Looking back, I see that I took many similar pictures today that I took then but that is not going to stop me putting them in again.
We had to take a gently curving and roundabout way to the top of the hill as we were pushing Matilda along in her personal transport system and this gave us the opportunity to admire a splendid rooftop garden of a hotel below.
It was a delight to be out on such a warm and sunny day in October but all good things must come to an end (especially when you are pushing a baby about) so we started to descend from the summit. A last look back at the monuments….
Wikipedia says: Like the castle rock on which Edinburgh Castle is built, it was formed by an extinct volcano system of Carboniferous age (approximately 350 million years old), which was eroded by a glacier moving from west to east during the Quaternary (approximately the last two million years), exposing rocky crags to the west and leaving a tail of material swept to the east. This is how the Salisbury Crags formed and became basalt cliffs between Arthur’s Seat and the city centre.
….we dropped down past the rather brutal modern (1939) home of the Scottish Government bureaucracy…
Matilda has discovered that if she smiles and sticks her tongue out, she gets a big reaction.
Matilda’s father came home from work before we left but as he was a bit poorly, we didn’t have much to say and we were soon on our way back to the station.
We had another retail moment as Mrs Tootlepedal wanted to buy some circular knitting needles (don’t ask me) and we enjoyed this elevated temple portico tacked on to the side of a building which we saw on the way to the shop. Only in Edinburgh….
I did try to catch a flying bird of the day before we left in the morning and I just managed to snap a goldfinch before it landed.