"But Edinburgh is a mad god’s dream
Fitful and dark
Unseizable in Leith
And wildered by the Forth.
But irresistibly at last
Cleaving to sombre heights
of passionate imagining
From soaring battlements
Earth eyes Eternity."
(Hugh MacDiarmid, The Complete Poems, 1978)
Back to Edinburgh now that Patty has finished her account of our foot travels across England...actually this story came from our first day in Edinburgh before we started on our trek.
Joan, Patty, and I flew all night from Charleston to New York to Edinburgh, arriving early morning, and naturally our room was not ready. We elected to stay at a hotel on the Royal Mile to be able to walk out the door into the footsteps of all those illustrious Scots -- Robert Burns, Adam Smith, Bonnie Prince Charlie -- well, his illustriousness is questionable -- Mary, Queen of Scots and, aye, Jamie Fraser.
"We'd like a room with a view", I told the desk clerk.
Reassured we could have a room later in the afternoon, we left our bags in Hisako and Tetsu's room and set out on foot down to Holyrood, up to the Castle, looking for Grassmarket, back up to look for Greyfriar's Kirk, stopping for afternoon tea at Clarinda's (more on Clarinda later), and finally dragging ourselves back to the hotel about 4:00.
Our room was ready. Determined, I asked the clerk again, "Does it have a view?"
And what a view... looking south to the heights of Arthur's Seat,
To the north, looking over the Mary Poppins roofs to Calton Hill with Nelson's Monument and the unfinished National Monument -- the money ran out in 1829 -- meant to honor Scottish soldiers killed in the Napoleonic Wars.
And our view of Patty's backside, hanging out the window. She couldn't get enough of that Edinburgh view.
Rear view photo by Joan