10 June 2009

Adventures in Sunny Edinburgh

We went to Edinburgh for a few days last week - it already seems like a dream and so long ago. It was so sunny and warm that I - unusually unprepared for this - got a nasty sunburn on my face. I sunburned my eyelids - a first for me! Ouch. They're just about healed now, almost a week later. Here's some proof of the hot and sunny:

Neither of us had a lot on in the way of work, and I was definitely beating myself up about it. And as there was little we could do, it seemed like a good idea to take a quick break in Edinburgh, just so as not to drive ourselves mad. I'm glad we did.

We arrived on Tuesday, and as we always do upon arrival, we walked down the water of Leith. There was lots of wildlife along the way, and it was very green and tranquil.

The next day, we went a few miles south of the Edinburgh border to the Pentland Hills.

At one point, it seemed like the walk would be too easy, so we went off-path, following the sheep paths. We figured we had plenty of water, food, and since it stays light until 10pm, we had plenty of time in case we did get lost. We didn't get lost, but we had to take a detour around almost every ewe we passed - and there were quite a few - as they were so pregnant that turning around didn't seem to be an option for them. There were also lots of cute yearlings.

It was really gorgeous, and the best antidote to all the stress I'd been feeling. This was our view from where we sat down to have lunch:

The next day, we drove north to Perth. Rog parked the car and we went out for a little wander and for some breakfast. When we got back, I suddenly realised we were parked not 100 metres from a yarn shop. So we had to wait until it opened. It turned out to be Di Gilpin's studio and shop. She had the most lovely Rennie yarn, and I have to admit that I didn't walk away empty-handed. I had an interesting conversation with Di, about how she ended up in Scotland, and about her studio.

Then it was off to Birnham and Dunkeld, for another day's walking.

In Birnham, we found a grove of very old oak trees - and apparently we were in Macbeth land now ("Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until /Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill /Shall come against him"). This is the Birnham Oak:

The 15th century Dunkeld Cathedral on the bank of the river Tay, and me enjoying it all:

We walked for hours, through fields of bluebells, and along little creeks, and then as we continued upwards, we walked on paths that bordered pine forest so dense it was as dark as night within.

And then, out of nowhere so it seemed, we came to an opening.

It was so stunningly idyllic that we decided to sit there and eat our lunch, just enjoying the peacefulness, broken only by fish breaking the surface every once in a while. We saw what I think were osprey, as were near the osprey reserve. We were going to go off-path here, but when we ended up ankle-deep in water, we turned back and followed the path.

It was really magical, and the only downside was how short the trip was.

I'll be back with knitting news soon.


Lien said...

Oh, that trip looks gorgeous. I've been in Edinburgh a couple of times, but never went walking out of the city. Partially because I like the city itself so much!

Kathy said...

What a lovely trip you had. Such gorgeous scenery! Looks like you had perfect weather too, cool enough for a denim jacket yet sunny enough for a sunburn! Ouch!

I showed my husband your post and reminded him again how much I'd love to travel to your neck of the woods;). Thanks for sharing your getaway!

Anonymous said...

Oh, those photos are gorgeous! I wish I was there (or alternatively, I wish it had been sunny when I was there a few weeks ago!) I'm very impressed at Rog's ability to park next to a yarn store - you have him trained well.

Paul said...

Can't wait to visit those places once we are there in September!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Your trip looked lovely! I am so envious :0

Hoxton said...

Wow that all looks beautiful! So glad you enjoyed the trip.

Anonymous said...

Oh Jasmine!!! What a nice and romantic place is Edinburgh!! I would like to go there!

You have took nice pics! I love the little sheep in black and white!!! She's so tender!

amanda said...

Glad to see your yarn radar was working well north of the border there! :D

Anonymous said...

I just love Birnham and Dunkeld, a magical place to me. Been there many times, have you been to the Hermitage, a beautiful walk.