Saturday, 17 January 2015

I swear I'd burn this city down just to show you the lights.

Erm, bit awkward but yes I did use the line of a Fall Out Boy song for the title to this blog post. I'm so Emo. Is that still a thing? I'm old, I don't know what the kids say these days. Anyway, the Fall Out Boy reference is because I listened to them today for a particular reason which I'll get to at some point during this post. Bear with me.

In all the time I've lived in Edinburgh I've never been up to Calton Hill which is one of the most iconic views of Edinburgh. Well, technically I'm lying a little bit because when I did Survival of the Fittest I did actually run up Calton Hill and clamber about on metal contraptions up there but 1) I was running a 10k obstacle course so wasn't really paying much attention to my surroundings but was more concerned with making sure I didn't trip over my own feet or collapse from exhaustion and 2) I only ran round one side of it so didn't get to take in the full spectacle.

I felt like I should do something active today but wasn't really in the mood to hit the gym, nor did I fancy forcing myself to go out for a run. That's when I thought about remedying the fact that I'd never been to Calton Hill and decided to take myself out for a little walk.

I don't walk as often as I should. There's something about wandering about on my own which makes me feel exhilarated. It's probably because I've just finished Cheryl Strayed's Wild but today I was really nostalgic for the feeling that I had when I was travelling alone. I had an MP3 player at the time (no iPod!) which had only a handful of albums on it. I walked for hours around Italian cities, alternating between Fall Out Boy, We Are Scientists, Damien Rice and Paul Weller. Bit repetitive but there you go. So today I listened to From Under the Cork Tree by Fall Out Boy and allowed myself to pretend that I was still a nineteen year old kid, kicking about a foreign country in black cut off shorts, beat up converse and a shiny new rucksack. I ignored the feeling of frostbite in my fingers thanks to the freezing Scottish weather. Totally attempting to ruin my vibe man.

I learned today that Google Maps has a sense of direction which is almost as fatally flawed as mine is. Despite the fact that I've lived in Edinburgh for five years, I know that Calton Hill overlooks Princes Street and of course the minor fact that I have actually been up there before, when I set off I had a completely empty feeling regarding the general direction I needed to walk in to reach it. Just not a single clue. Honestly, it's ridiculous. I could get lost in my own flat.

Not to worry I thought. This is 2015. I have an iPhone. Google Maps exists. Wonderful, wonderful technology will help me in this quest. So I typed in 'Calton Hill' and off I wandered, safe in the knowledge that technology would help a sister out. Except it didn't. It took me the most bizarre, roundabout way through Edinburgh's Royal Mile, up and down stairs, through side streets and eventually spat me out at the bottom of Calton Hill. I discovered on the way home that I actually just had to walk straight along Princes Street which is pretty much a straight line from my flat. A much simpler route but anyway it was sort of fun meandering through parts of the city I don't visit often.

I'm not much of a photographer but here are some photos of today's wander anyway. Also, I think that Edinburgh is one of the few cities that actually looks better in the miserable weather. It was made to be moody and dark I think.


  1. These are such lovely photographs, Kylie. I agree that Edinburgh is one of these cities which strangely suits the grey skies of winter! I've never been up Calton Hill (or Arthur's Seat!) in all of the times I've visited Edinburgh, which is a shame because the views from both look beautiful.


    p.s. I love 'I don't know what the kids say these days' - I have genuinely said that to friends before. It's tough feeling old at 25!

    1. Thanks Charlene! I'm not much of a photographer but I felt like recording the moment. Yeh it definitely suits a bit of gloom does Edinburgh.

      You should definitely go up one (or both) the next time you're through! Neither are far from the centre and both are pretty spectacular.

      Ps - I like it too but I use it far too often these days haha

  2. I've lived up here for over 4 years and have never made it to Carlton Hill either (hangs head in shame). I've always been intrigued by the monument on the top though so maybe I'll change that. When the weather improves ;)


    1. Hi! Thanks for commenting :) yeh definitely take a trip up once the weather improves. It's so close to the centre, quite an easy climb but the views are spectacular!