* Note from Mr Life:
You've missed out a step re the naming of the hotel. This is where you needed to consult a railway historian. The hotel is named after the North British Railway company who originally built it to serve their passengers. The railway was named because it operated in what the Victorians called "North Britain" - or at least the south eastern corner thereof. The hotel continued to be called the NB whilst "railway" owned and became "The Balmoral" when it became de-nationalised like the railways. Thought that you would want to know this!
(I did kind of know this. We'll get him doing his own blog at this rate. What could he call it? Between the Tracks? Along the Lines?)
This is taken peering over the Bridge to the east. The smudgy thing in the foreground isn't a river but just the top of the wall; I'm only 5'3" or possibly less and couldn't reach high enough to avoid it. The photo shows one of Edinburgh's seven hills, Calton Hill.
The Balmoral again. Note that it wasn't raining. Yet.
The Bridge wall wasn't so high at this point. There's the Castle in the distance, on the far right.
That smudgy wall again as we look west over to Princes Street with the Scott Monument (for Sir Walter Scott) in the middle, a bit like the Eiffel Tower but much smaller, and some horrible 60s architecture to the right.
And looking east from the Bridge - this is a terrible photo, looking into the sun, but I wanted to show you our main city hill, Arthur's Seat. It's really quite near, though it doesn't look it here.
Now I've walked down into Princes Street. Here's the Castle on the skyline, the art galleries looking like Greek temples below it to the right, the Assembly Hall (belonging to the Church of Scotland) with that towerish thing to the left.
The Bank of Scotland on the left. We used to be proud of it but... hmm... . I should have taken a picture of the hotel that Daughter 2 has been working on - but I didn't. Silly me. It's just to the left of the Bank.
Now things deteriorate. Edinburgh City Council have decided to install tramlines and the city is a mass of holes. Here's our principal shopping street, elegantly presented for the tourists. (The trams are scheduled for 2012. "I'll never see them," says my mum. I bet she will.) Castle in background.
More updiggings as I wander along.
So scenic. At least there's no traffic.
A hole. Not a lot happening.
Still I wander along Princes Street. Still nothing much happens to the holes.
There's an art gallery (like temple). The street going up the the Assembly Hall is called the Mound, because it was made from a mound of earth accumulated from digging out the swampy bit to make the gardens. Or so they say. Look, a chap in a safety vest, walking.
Another chap, walking in the opposite direction. It's still not raining.
A chap contemplating.
Several men standing around, one leaning on a spade. 2012, did you say? 2020, maybe?
The Castle looks lovely but the traffic cones really don't.
I turned my back on Princes Street and the Castle and walked uphill to the parallel street, George Street. Standing there, looking down towards Queen Street and beyond, you're aware of how near we are to the sea. You can see the coast of Fife on the other side of the Forth estuary.
Then I went to have my eyes tested (they seem to be ok; no need for specs yet apart from my £7 supermarket ones for small print) and got the bus home. It had rained a bit but the sun had come out by the time I got into the front garden. These roses smell wonderful.