20 Years From Now...

"20 YEARS FROM NOW," Mark Twain said, “you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did.”THIS online journal is dedicated to our next 20 years!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Edinburgh Delights - Beaches to Botanics

The weather in Edinburgh is constantly changing, often within minutes, so like the locals we do our best to ignore it and carry on. That's not to say we've been plagued with cold, wet weather, because we haven't. It's just that this is November not July, but when we learned Portobello Beach is less than two miles from the city centre we naturally had to check it out regardless of the season. We weren't alone.

The beach stretches for two miles, yet a public swimming pool (shown in the red brick building above and below) provides year round swimming. It was overcast the day we visited, but still warm enough for some folks to venture outdoors in shorts while they walked their dog.

What would a beach be without the requisite neon amusements and junk food outlets?

Next stop was a lovely cafe and food market called Earthy's. There are three Earthy's in Edinburgh with the closest just a ten minute walk from us. We were invited to coffee last Saturday by three of our homeowner's friends and are so glad we took them up on their offer. We talked and laughed for two hours and before Meredith, David and Norman left they suggested we head upstairs to the market. 

There was no chance of us leaving without sampling some of the items and as a result we had a lovely lunch - most of it organic and all of it delicious. The goat cheese, btw, was my favourite. We also tried a bottle of Chocolate Stout as most of you know we're fans of Guinness. The best way to describe it is "liquid dessert", and no I didn't drink most of it. John did!

Afterwards we were off again, this time to the Royal Botanical Gardens. We enjoyed our visit last year (click HERE for our 2014 post) and as the sun happened to be shining when we left, we were hopeful for another spectacular afternoon. We weren't disappointed. This time we entered via the East Gate and were immediately impressed by the gate itself.

The size of these leaves (sorry, but I've forgotten the plant's name) made us wonder if we'd stumbled back into dinosaur times.

At night the gardens are transformed with a multitude of coloured lights. Adding to the magical atmosphere are these sculptures that appear to be covered with aluminium foil.

As you can see they are quite large and imaginative in design.

As if the gardens themselves are not enough to boggle the mind, add Edinburgh Castle as a backdrop!

We spotted a number of these blue frames dotted here and there throughout the gardens. This one highlights the castle.

Also placed throughout the gardens are memorial benches. This particular one was commissioned by a lovely lady we know to honour the memory of her husband and daughter.  It's unique design makes it stand out from all the others, plus its serene setting adds a great deal to both one's experience and appreciation of such wooden mastery.

Not far from the bench is this amazing gazebo. It's made from a tree that died inside the botanical gardens. Inside the structure is a harp, also handmade from the same tree. The attention to detail and exquisite workmanship did the memory of this grand old tree proud.

Further along the path I spotted a cat amongst the foliage. It blended in perfectly. Can you see it?

And what would an outing on a Saturday afternoon in Edinburgh be without a wedding? Best of all the men from young to old wore kilts. Oh, my!

On Sunday John suggested we return to Rosslyn Chapel (click HERE to read our 2014 post). Located 7 miles south of Edinburgh and with a clear blue sky overhead it was as inspiring as ever and well worth a second look. Plus, we got to see William the Cat again. This time he was sleeping on a pew at the back of the chapel and as photographs are not allowed I didn't take his picture. I did, however, pet him. Several times!

 Edinburgh truly is such a wonderful city with so much to see and do.

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  1. Another great post, Dianne! I didn't know about the beach being so close, otherwise we would have visited when we were there in 1999. Don't you love the architecture with all the different coloured bricks and stone? I also liked the idea of the blue frames - not seen that before, but it would instantly turn a photo into a piece of art.
    By the way, I'm not sure - and I may be wrong, but I think those large leaves look a bit like cow mumble. We used to use it to remove the sting if we had come into contact with any nettles.

    Are you going to be able to get out to Anstrother for their fish and chips?

  2. Replies
    1. Unfortunately, we're not, Alan. It's just too great a distance PLUS we're running out of time. SAD. :( because we LOVE fish and chips!

  3. The mysterious giant leaf plants at the Botanics are Gunnera, a native of Chile.