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.