My final full day in Edinburgh began with a delicious breakfast of freshly cooked eggs benedict at the Urban Angel cafe, and then saw me turning in a different direction, this time north towards Stockbridge and its lovely village atmosphere, winding streets, independent shops, and pretty little houses.
Wednesday – a clear morning and the sun shining! Energised by the blue sky and a quick breakfast, my first stop today was Edinburgh Castle, my walk this time taking round the south side of the crag and onto the esplanade – crowded with couples and groups taking the required selfies in front of the imposing structure, the ubiquitous selfie stick very much in evidence. I decided to forgo the audio guide this time, letting interest take me around the buildings, artillery batteries, museum displays and viewpoints, conversing with the staff on duty about the history, people and stories of the place. Tiny St Margaret’s Chapel was a highlight, the oldest stone structure on the site, still maintained by volunteers and used for small weddings and services, the stained-glass windows added in the 1920s somehow adding to the beauty and peace of the space. Peaceful that is until disturbed by a group of foreign students following the audio tour who briefly filled the small room with chatter and then just as quickly departed, clearly not as struck with wonder as I was. Oh well, it takes all sorts.
Being more courageous when it comes to grasping opportunities is one of my big aims for this year, so when the chance came up at the end of January to be away from home for a few days (to escape the disruption of builders and refurbishment work) I jumped on it. I could have quite easily stayed close to home in a small hotel in a local town, but I figured I might as well go somewhere new and be able to explore, so I booked a few days in Edinburgh.