Saturday, October 02, 2010

Edinburgh, Part 1: Metropolis, Cramond and Bees in my Hair

One of my favourite things about Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is the clash between the gothic and the modern; the idea that deep, deep down everything modern has a dark ancient heart. The mad inventor Rotwang lives in a strange old house in an uber-futurist city, and in this strange old house he manages to create the hottest she-robot of the 1920s.

Edinburgh stirred up these thoughts in me. Within a couple of kilometres' radius I discovered: Topshop…cool French bistro…insane gothic monument…cutting edge Fringe theatre…Princes Street Gardens…LOOMING CASTLE OF DOOM…trendy pub…haunted cemetery…indie art gallery…waterwell dating back to Roman times! Love it.

As well as all this gothic/modern madness, Edinburgh also has my kind of seasides...bleak! I took a day trip out to the seaside village of Cramond, a pleasant 4 mile bus trip north west of Edinburgh CBD.

Cramond was a very popular holiday resort in Victorian and Edwardian times, although the town itself goes back way further. The Romans built a fort here between AD140 and AD142. They abandoned the fort in AD170, then came back in AD208 under Emperor Septimius Severus. By 600AD a chapel had been built on the site, which has since become the current Cramond Kirk, built in 1656 using a tower from the 1400s.

After wandering around the grounds of the church and the attached cemetery (more on that later), I walked down to the seafront and Cramond Island, a tidal island accessible from the mainland during low tide

As you can see, it was not low tide. Appealing image though it is, I was not bent over a desk at 3am frantically consulting tide charts like a 19th century explorer. Consequently I was not able to walk out to the island itself. But apparently a lot of people get stranded there and according to a couple of local firemen with whom I chatted and ate an ice cream, it’s mildly irritating having to constantly go rescue them. The locals know what they're doing though:

After gazing out at the Firth of Forth for about 45 minutes, I took a lovely walk along the River Almond:

Then came back to eat aforementioned ice cream while looking at boats:

and swans! swanning about, no doubt:

Then after a minor altercation with a bee who decided to take up residence in my hair, I jumped on the bus back to town for a whiskey fix and some haggis flavoured crisps.


LynS said...

I love the grey seaside photos - but Haggis flavoured chips is a

Julie said...

gorgeous photos!! looks utterly amazing.

Charisse said...

Lyn, the haggis flavoured chips are real!! They tasted peppery and were quite nice actually!

Emily said...

Good to hear more details of the Edinburgh extravaganze. Will there be a shoe show like in the corridor? A clothing spread?