Winter is the season that you tend to huddle up indoors, looking out grimly at the howling gale; but just occasionally you get out to have a little adventure. On Saturday I was a bit bored; I’d already walked the dog, put off all things I probably ought to be doing, the rugby hadn’t started (although missing that would not exactly have been a tragedy) and I was waiting for the wonders of technology to update themselves before I could progress any further on the blogging front (I really, really don’t get computers). As it was a nice enough afternoon – and by that I mean dry and light, those were pretty much its only redeeming features – I decided that it was time I went out on my bike and did a little exercise.
‘Adventure’ is possibly the wrong word to describe my trip; I didn’t actually go anywhere I hadn’t been before, but it was a case of “I’ll just go a little further this way” and “perhaps I’ll go right here”. But whilst I know my little corner of Edinburgh quite well I’d never actually cycled down to Granton. Urban regeneration – and other such buzzwords – have treated that part of town pretty well over the last decade or so, and on a calm day the whole place becomes rather peaceful.
We tend to think of Newhaven as the area for boats, with its stone harbour and lighthouse, but I always tend to forget that most of the little boats are kept along at Granton Harbour. It’s also substantially bigger than I realised, with its old (much more cobbled together than its neighbour) stone pier reaching out far into the Firth of Forth.
Once I’d sat and pondered my ‘discovery’ for a minute or two (it was a little too cold for sitting on stone for very long) I got back on my bike and went along in the direction of Gypsy Brae and Silverknowes.
Back in the comfort of the well-known I went along the sweeping promenade, dodging inbetween dog walkers and old grannies loudly moaning about “yooffs” cycling along a walking path (I can only assume she left her glasses at home with her false teeth, as I don’t think I really come under that category any more and neither do the other adults cycling along the front, which coincidentally is also a cycling route).
By the time Crammond Island and its submarine-proof causeway came properly in to view I decided it was time I braved the cycle home. Whilst the shoreline might suffer with global sea level rises, the rest of this part of town really won’t; by the time I got to the top of the succession of hills and paused to catch my breath, the sun was well and truly beginning to fade away for the day. I got back in time to watch the majority of the rugby – and wish that I’d left the hill for later and taken the protracted trip back by Crammond and the river Almond.