Day Sixteen - Edinburgh - Dean Village, Water of Leith & Royal Botanic Garden
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|look for Charlotte Square, Dean Bridge & Water of Leith, all on the left side|
On the second day visiting Edinburgh, my wife stayed behind, so three of us ventured into the City, on foot a lot today. From Waverly Station, we walked a mile or more north-west to Charlotte Square, in upscale New Town, circa late 1700s w/ Georgian architecture, including some notable homes by UK Architect Robert Adam.
Once we reached Dean Bridge, we diverted down a narrow & steep road, to the Water of Leith walking trail. Heading upstream brought us to Modern Art One, in Dean Village. Heading downstream later took us to the Royal Botanic Garden.
note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.
|Waverly Station||heading west on Queen St. to New Town||Royal Society of Edinburgh||statue & castle|
|Charlotte Square area||Georgian style||
elegant entry w/olive trees
|'British Sunrise' window above door||Water of Leith is below||topography seen from Dean Bridge||we dropped down to River Leith|
|Dean Village||heading upstream|
On the way to Dean Village we came across a trail closure, but two locals showed us a shortcut to take through Dean Cemetery, to get to Modern Art One and Two museums.
|Celtic cross for a Kennedy||Modern Art One|
Once at Modern Art One, we went to the cafe. It was another scone w/butter & jam, with an Americano, in a really nice setting, with a view of a garden with sculptures and a fountain.
Modern Art One has the permanent collection, which was good to see, my being somewhat familiar with this era, and it struck me that most of these works were considered to be modern about 75 years ago. When I first saw works like these (in books) when I was 18, they still looked somewhat modern, but now they look dated. Yet it is a "classic" collection of early 20th Century art.
It is definitely worth a visit, and we did a brief walk-through this modest-sized collection, on two floors.
The building interior is pleasant, and, aside from the art works, careful use of lighting & wall coloration creates a great atmosphere.
|samples of modern art from 75+ years ago||Picasso, Woman lying on the Beach, 1932||Paule Vezelay, Composition, 1933||Merlyn Evans, Day & Evening, 1932|
Out in front of Modern Art One is another Charles Jencks' cosmic landscape, only 2 or 3 acres in size. Rich and I walked the contours for maybe ten minutes.
|Chas. Jencks' landscape art||Modern Art Two|
Modern Art Two, a Museum we didn't go to, has up to date "modern" exhibits, which often change, we were told.
Dean Village - As early as 1145 there's mention of the "Mills of Dene" and for the next 800 years, grain mills here were successful, with up to eleven mills operating on water-power. This certainly testifies to having dependable year-round river flows in the Water of Leith.
If you go back 150 years, Dean Village was a small village, northwest of Old Town Edinburgh. What used to be modest lodgings for Millers and their families are now upscale modern homes and condos in a desirable part of Edinburgh.
Once back on the Water of Leith trail, we headed downstream, towards the Royal Botanic Garden.
|nice home on the detour||back on the main path at Dean Village||Water of Leith trail - Well Court Hall||built in 1880s; renovated in 2007|
|Dean Bridge from below||on the way to 'the Botanics'|
ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN
|this rough map shows where the RBG is (top-center)|
Leaving the Water of Leith trail we found surface streets and friendly people who guided us to the west (or main) entrance to the Royal Botanic Garden. Had we stayed on the Water of Leith trail, we'd have arrived at the same place.
Once in the RBG we booked for a 2 pm guided tour, an hour later, and R&L and I figured we had time for a light lunch, on an attractive rooftop cafe, and we'd have a preview walk of our own in the Garden below.
Instead, we had an unexpected and comical dining experience. Whereas R & L got their food pretty quickly & consumed it, I sat and waited and waited and the soup I ordered took 45 minutes to arrive, and when it finally did arrive, it was not the soup I ordered.
It was good and I enjoyed it, but we couldn't figure out why the servers had taken so long to make a simple soup substitution. A few times during the 45 minute delay we saw the staff huddling & looking at us from a distance....it was really odd. They somehow turned a non-event into an event.
In the meantime, we had a nice chat with a pleasant British woman at an adjacent table, who was from London via the train, now retired & coming to see her son, an investment guy in 'Embru. She said she keeps active, like spending the whole day at the Botanics.
Later she planned to cook her son's favorite meal...so like a Mom.
Out on the garden tour, the Docent was witty & knowledgeable. While we'd paid for a 45-minute tour, once we reached the East Gate, it had already been an hour's walk, with another hour to go, to get back to the west entrance.
|on the Docent- guided tour||our tour guide||the hedge|
|one of the top 5 gardens in Europe, she said||old building|
|rare Himalayan clematis||classical elements|
|talking about the trees||outdated tropical habitat buildings..||creative exit gates|
I wish we'd been able to see the entire garden, but buses back to center city only run along the east side of the RBG, so three of us had to bail from the group, bidding goodbye & thanks. We hopped on a city bus and arrived 15 minutes later at Princes Street, where we had different missions.
R & L went off in search of a small luggage item, while I walked to the west end of Princes Street Garden, to see if I could find an Abraham Lincoln statue, which I had read is here, but I never found it. Nonetheless it was a good late afternoon stroll and there were plenty of other statues.
The west end of the Garden is where the Mound ends. In the hollow below I found a kiosk and had an excellent Americano and a cranberry scone, with another scone to go, for my wife.
I was pleased to get the last two photos. A placard stated that the City of Paris donated that turquoise fountain to the City of Edinburgh, in the early 1800s, a Napoleonic gift. In the last shot, fall color is in the trees, while Edinburgh Castle looms above.
|Princes Street garden stairs||the Castle|
|the gardens||turquoise fountain||farewell to scenic Edinburgh|
Once back at the Hotel in Linlithgow, my wife said the staff had provided her with a terrific lunch of lentil soup with coarse bread and butter.
Once we returned from downtown she had the scone with coffee, just getting up, while three of us went out for a 5 pm dinner at The Four Marys, just up the street, near the Palace.
We returned to the Hotel, and my wife enjoyed a room service meal, and seemed to be feeling better. It was the start of a great recovery for her.
Thus, our 16 day road trip came to a quiet end in Linlithgow, Scotland, a small historic town in the shadow of Edinburgh.
We were up early the next morning for a flight from EDI to DUB. At DUB we parted ways, my wife & I flying part-way home to Minneapolis, while R & L stayed in Dublin one more night before their non-stop return flight to SFO the next day.
On their spare day in Dublin R & L took a cab 30 minutes east to a town on the the North Sea, where they had a good day out.
The Epilogue page has additional trip comments.
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All photos were taken with a Canon G16.