June 29

Day 40 Edinburgh to Queensferry

So there it is. Edinburgh,Auld Reekie, my favourite city, apparently so far away from Shrewsbury for the strolling ancients yet Edinburgh is now behind us.
We ate a hearty breakfast in the Aroma Cafe at South Bridge then strode out towards the Royal Mile and Princes Street. The route today was not intended to be direct as both of us wanted to leave with views of the city fresh in our minds.
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Past St Giles Cathedral we strode only to turn back when we remembered that there are convenient facilities there.
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The Heart of MIdlothian is just a heart shaped ring of pebbles in the pavement outside St Giles. It is at the spot of the old tolbooth, which was built around the 14th century. Initially it was a place where the people of Edinburgh would pay their taxes, however later on it turned into a prison, and held many inmates who were condemned to the gallows.
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A view from Princes Street. If you have a good camera this looks very nice. On a phone the effect is lost.
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By strolling onwards past Haymarket Station and on and on the sign of the hearing loop or John Muir’s Way leads one up Costorphine HIll and away from the increasingly irritating traffic noise.
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What an oasis is Costorphine Hill. Costorphine Hill is one of the seven hills on which Edinburgh is built although it depends what you call a hill and how you count them.
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Being led onwards by the sign of John we relaxed into amiable chatter about this and that. Our path took us through housing estates but, foolishly, we allowed this aimless chatter to divert us from the important task of observation.
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This might have been a disaster but only cost us about half a mile of extra strolling. We tried to cross a very busy road afterwards and made a hash of that too.
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John Muir’s Way is very pretty but has no seats. Having made loads of errors we knew that we needed a seat and some cheese. Finding a seat we sat and ate cheese. We sat for too long really. The wind blew cooler and we were chilled as we set off once more. We held hands and this warmed us up a bit.
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As we strolled, chilled to the bone, my nostrils detected the unmistakeable odour of cooking. There in front of us appeared a joyful apparition, The Miller and Carter. We asked do you do tea and cake? No, but you can have a drink and a pud if you like. A hot chocolate and some heavy carbs did the trick.
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At last the Firth appeared amongst the trees. We had hoped that the view would be better but, who cares, we could see Fife in the distance.
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People of a certain age may remember a film made by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935 starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll called the Thirty Nine Steps. This is one of my favourite films. The film has a thrilling scene on the Forth Railway Bridge so as the bridge swam into view I became very excited indeed and took loads of photos of it.
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In order to calm down after this emotional experience we went into the Hawes Inn to recover.
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Tomorrow we will stroll, all being well, to the road bridge and stroll into Fife. Edinburgh will be behind properly and Dundee and the Tay Bridge will lie ahead, unless we change our minds again.

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Posted June 29, 2016 by admin in category "Week 6 Melrose to Glenrothes

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