A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A great walk...

After her Cyber Walk GG tagged me to do describe a walk of my own. So here goes.

While there are many marked walks around us, I prefer to walk around in cities. I have had some amazing walks in London, Paris, Algiers, Rome, Murcia...
But one of the cities where I love to walk most is Edinburgh.

Edinburgh was the first city I saw when I came to study in Britain. It was love at first sight. I return there several times a year.

The walk starts at Waverley Station. Sometimes I drive up but I often go there by train leaving my car at Durham station.

During the Festival in August, Edinburgh's population grows by ONE MILLION! So, as I come out of the Station, I feel I have landed in Europe. French mingles with Spanish, Italian and German, while the American accent pops up every few yards. I turn left. In front of my eyes lies the most popular thoroughfare in Scotland, Princes Street.
I walk for one hundred yards, past the Waverley Centre with its cafes, fashion and curiosity shops. At the lights I turn left. In the distance, Edinburgh Castle stands proudly on its massive rock, overlooking the city as far as the Firth of Forth.
Below ground trains roar past on their way to Glasgow and the North as I head for Cockburn Street. I will always remember my Scottish-Italian friend Rafaelle who laughed when I told him, in 1976 that I had bought a pair of jeans from "Cock" Burn Street. I had only been learning English for a few months.
Nowadays the steep and winding Cockburn Street is peppered with trendy shops, cafés and bars. My favourite is ... a trendy wine bar that serve trendy food from behind a very busy bar. Ecco Vino.

This street comes to an end where the High Street begins. It is also called The Royal Mile, because there is one approximately one mile between the Castle and Holyrood Palace.
During the Festival, the Royal Mile is turned into a huge outdoor stage with acts showing snippets of the performances they would be giving throughout the city.
Flashes go off every second. Camcorders come in every shape and size. The tiniest ones in Japanese hands.
As I walk up the street, I am handed postcards and posters advertising bands, plays, comedy, etc... Most of them will end up in rubbish bins or forgotten in cafés.
The terrace of the Bean and Grape Café beckons. I do not need to order anything.
A few minutes after I have sat down, a beautiful espresso is placed on my table by my cousin, the owner!
We sit and watch the world go by. Edinburgh Photos
Who would like to go for walk and where?

1-Kingston Girl in North Yorkshire
2-Wandering Woman in Ireland


Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Thank you, Cream. This is so easy travelling, no plane tickets, no going through the airport hassle. I hope others do cyber walks that I can take.

That Fringe festival sounds like something I'd like to attend in real life though.

Hm, where would I like to walk? Sydney, in oz. Or in Portland, Jamaica. The moors, England. And that place Heidi used to live.

1/12/05 1:21 AM  
Blogger Shyha said...

I've never been to Edinburgh but this festival is one of the most I-really-want-to-go-there events :) Where else? I'm not a planning guy, I would be very contented to walk anywhere and see pretty anything.

1/12/05 8:00 AM  
Blogger cream said...

GG, I am glad you enjoyed the walk. I would've liked to go into more detail but it would've been too long. We'd love other blogger-friends to take a walk to help us discover their favourite places.
Shyha, the Festival is amazing and Edinburgh itself buzzes in August. If you can, you must make it!

1/12/05 9:22 AM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Hey, Shyha, can you take us on a walk in Poland? A photo-walk? Or using words?

1/12/05 1:30 PM  
Blogger Kingston Girl said...

Just want to add to cream - edinburgh is always amazing and in the festival, it is even more amazing!!! The atmosphere is electic, always something to see and do, ranging from one extreme to the other. I have spent several summers in edinburgh, working in a variety of pubs and odd offices - and my only problem is that I now have an allergic reaction to bagpipes - they make me run screaming!

1/12/05 1:59 PM  
Blogger Kingston Girl said...

OK, have taken my turn - come and join me on a walk!


1/12/05 2:32 PM  
Blogger Shyha said...

I'll try :) give me some time :)

1/12/05 2:54 PM  
Blogger L'Oiseau said...

I think nostalgic is a walk back from the school bus stop to home, in the summer, along a footpath that had fragrant honeysuckle growing over the backs of the neighbourhood fences.

Now, I like taking a walk through the christmas market in Reims' main street. I got off the train in a terrible mood last week, at the end of a long day, ready to jump on anyone who dared cross my path. Yet,the moment I saw the lights, trees, chalets and hot chestnut sellers my spirits soared!

1/12/05 3:32 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Kingston Girl, I love the area where you walked. I have placed a link to your post on my page.
Shyha, we can't wait!
L'Oiseau, please, please write a post about one of your walks!
Hot chestnuts take me back to my youth!

1/12/05 4:43 PM  
Blogger DCveR said...

Edinburgh is a great place. I love its castle, the Scottish pride can't be fully understood without a walk through the exhibition on Edinburgh's castle. The park with those perky squirrels. Pubs, pubs and more pubs. And the Scotch Whisky Heritage Center, I can’t believe you left this one out of your tour...

1/12/05 6:00 PM  
Blogger cream said...

DC, I have had all kinds of tours of Edinburgh over the years especially drunken ones.
I studied there for a while and you can imagine a student's life of discovery.
Click on the Link "Edinburgh Photos" at the bottom of the post.
The Centre is featured there.

1/12/05 7:12 PM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

This is great, I felt like I was on a guided tour! Really informative and personal. Loved it!

1/12/05 7:22 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Ah, well, Val you ought to take us on a walk, too.
DC, how about it, then? Anywhere that we'd love to visit with you?

1/12/05 9:34 PM  
Blogger DCveR said...

My whole blog is a walk. Not just through space (and not just Portugal) but also through time and legend!
I have a few ideas for some photo walks, but I'll have to wait for some nicer weather, I don't really like going out with my camera while it's raining.

1/12/05 10:18 PM  
Blogger cream said...

I have learnt to keep the camera in the car. While you were away I took a couple of good photos in North Yorkshire!
Your blog is a walk indeed! A great walk...

1/12/05 10:33 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Another good one,Cream! Thanks for the tour.

2/12/05 2:53 AM  
Blogger Ale said...

i want to go!!!

my walks usually involve lots of sitting around in a cafe-- like grape cafe' maybe--

see my theory is that if you're walking- you're walking in step with the world so in reality you have same people and things around you because they're also moving...

but if you SIT DOWN - you get to see more! because more people, or things will float by... !

(or i'm lazy)

2/12/05 3:35 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Thanks, Janet. I hope you too will take on a walk with you!
Ale, Edinburgh is a gem of a city!
The best thing to do is walk so much, sit down for a coffee to watch the world go by, and then do the same again and again! It's great!

2/12/05 9:11 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

I love this entry. I can close my eyes and almost see it all.

I like to be downtown anywhere. I enjoy just watching people. Julie and I often go downtown really late at night and walk around. We window shop and chat. Sometimes we pick up some take out and find a bench. Sitting Indian style we laugh and fill our faces. We like to go a couple times a month. We need that break together.

2/12/05 7:41 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Penny, what a great time one can have without being too extravagant! I'll have to try a takeaway on a bench...But I'll wait till the summer otherwise I may end up freezing to death!

2/12/05 7:50 PM  

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