18 August, 2010

"Passports Please . . . "


Well, thus far, we've read - we've run - we've rested - and we've had a bite to eat - so next on our trip through the alphabet, we're going to do a little bit of traveling. So many designers, myself included, have listed "travel" as one of the major influences of their work on most every "10 things you can't live without" list that I've ever seen.

But, besides the obvious attraction of the exotic, I also find that traveling can be the perfect 'palette cleanser' for my creativity as well. Wandering through a foreign land removes so many of those pre-conceived notions that we have about how one should (or might) want to live. It allows my mind to soar.

So for our next stop in the "Love Letters" series, let's take a little tour of one of my favourite cities.

"E" is for . .

"Edinburgh, Scotland"

Oh my, how I love this city. A perfect mixture of the ancient and the modern. The medieval castle and palace (on the eastern side of the city) and "New Town" (on the western), which dates from the 1700's. The two areas bisected by the huge railway station.

I visited Edinburgh for the first time in the Spring of 2001, during a long tour through England, Wales, and Scotland. Staying in a little Georgian hotel on the "new town" side . . . and spending long days wandering around through significant (castles and churches) and the slightly 'less' significant (shopping and eating.) I actually found one of my very first Scottish Clan tea cups in a little antique store near Edinburgh Castle - and went back on every subsequent visit to the city until I had purchased all the china that they had . . . lol.

The Military Tattoo on the grounds of Edinburgh Castle

One of the other highlights of the city is the military tattoo - performed daily during the month of August to the delight of locals and tourists alike. I had the great delight of seeing it a few years back - and here's a video of the finale of this year's event.

If bagpipes make you cry, you're gonna love this . . .


all photography used by permission.


Teresa Hatfield said...

So brilliant. Just perfect. Love your alphabet tour!

Linda Merrill said...

Sniff, sniff.. what is the first piece that's playing at the beginning? So familiar, but can't place it...

tartanscot said...


YOu might know it from a couple of different places - 1) it's the middle movement of Holst's "The Planets" - the 'Jupiter' movement, and it's also been turned into one of my favourite English hymns, "I Vow to Thee My Country."
(some minutiae, "I Vow to Thee . . . " was also one of Princess Diana's favourite hymn, and was sung at both her wedding and funeral. You might recognize it from there.)

Carol said...

Delurking here! I love Edinburgh too. We took a trip to the UK after my son graduated high school. Later he was able to do a college semester at the University there. My grandmother grew up not too far from there in a small town, so I feel a strong sense of belonging when I visit.

columnist said...

Edinburgh is indeed a beautiful city architecturally, and we enjoyed every aspect of that when we lived there from 2000-2003, especially as we had a flat in the New Town. Sadly living-wise it's a little dull, but 7 years on I might enjoy it more. I have been back fleetingly, but it doesn't have those yearnings, so maybe not!

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