Home Town Tourist

One of my favourite things in the world is walking up the ramp at Waverley Station (Fun Fact: Waverley boasts a ground area of 101,000 square metres, making it the second biggest station, by area, in the UK.). I realise that that probably sounds a bit odd but please, bear with me. This started a couple of years or so ago, but it’s only recently that I’ve really begun to understand it.Edinburgh Castle from Waverley Bridge, Scotland, Britain

Scott Monument, EdinburghWhen I walk up that ramp I see a bank. A monument (one, I mightThe Mound - Bank of Scotland Head Office add, that bears a striking resemblance – in my eyes at least – to Thunderbird 3, albeit with an extra leg). 18th century ‘multi stories’. Two art galleries. A large expanse of gardens. A castle – No, THE castle. In short, I see a picture-postcard of Edinburgh. But it’s also more than that; I see a little bit of home.

I have lived in Edinburgh for most of my life and it would be more than a lie if I said I wasn’t quite fond of it. Over the last few years being away has made me notice quite how stunning it is – especially at sunset, or perhaps that’s just my fascination with such things setting (pun fully intended) in again – and has made me appreciate it all the more. I now understand what really brings the flocks of tourists from across the globe to our city. And I have to say that I am a little captivated by it as well. But how much do I know about my home? Well, not very much it transpires.

General Assembly Building of the Church of Scotland

Before I go away anywhere I always do a little bit of background reading to find out why the place deems itself special, to see what I might do. To the best of my knowledge, however, I have never done the same for ‘The ‘Burgh’. That’s not to say I know nothing, my parents were very good at taking me to see the sights and explaining why they were important when I was younger, but It appears that I just wasn’t listening.Edinburgh Castle, Thistle

 I mean I know the basic functions of most of the buildings, and roughly when various things were built, but when I’m in town the chances are I’m in a bookshop, having coffee (and perhaps occasionally in the pub); I’m not climbing the Scott Monument, or looking out from the Castle. I know it’s all there, but because of that I’ve never got round to seeing a lot of it; it will always be there for ‘when I’ve got the time’, which remarkably never seems to appear.

The best way, I have decided, to rid myself of this woeful lack of local knowledge is to do the research, visit the places – to play the tourist in my home town. Over the coming months I will be visiting many of the city’s most enchanting attractions, sharing what I find along the way. I will also try not to get run over by our mythical trams (unsurprisingly the June 2011 deadline for 2 fully operational lines was missed by a country mile – not a single tram has yet run).

If you have any suggestions for places I should visit please get in touch below and I’ll add them to the list.

You can also follow the action live via Twitter (@contempclouds), which will be updated with fun facts and (perhaps on occasion) photos of the places I’m visiting.



2 thoughts on “Home Town Tourist

  1. Mary King’s Close
    Parliament Hall
    Camera Obscura
    Gladstone’s Land
    Craigmillar Castle
    Duddingston Reservoir
    National Library
    Holyrood Palace, just for kicks
    Dynamic Earth!
    South Queensferry (not quite Edinburgh…)
    Do a ghost tour!

    • Wow, that’s quite a list, thank you! I like them all. I’ve been to a couple of them in the last couple of years (Mary King’s, Dynamic and the Nat Lib), but they’re all pretty good and worth another visit (research purposes, of course). And I think South Queensferry is technically Edinburgh (just) and I really like it, it will definitely be appearing sometime soon.

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