Beautiful Edinburgh: How I became a tourist in my own city and marvelled at its splendour – Vladimir McTavish
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We residents of Scotland’s Capital too often take its spectacular beauty for granted. But whenever I get back from trips abroad, I realise how lucky I am to live in one of the most enchanting cities in the world.
I’ve been back from Australia for a few days now, and it’s nice to be home. However, after a five-hour layover in Doha Airport, it’s nice to be anywhere. About four-and-a-half of those five hours were spent trying to find a place that sold alcohol.
I eventually found a bar that only sold Budweiser, presumably the Qatari authorities having decided that tasteless fizzy American beer would be the ideal deterrent against the demon drink. I can only imagine what torture it must have been for football fans at last year’s World Cup.
Thank goodness the Scotland team had the moral backbone (or lack of footballing ability) to boycott the tournament. If we had qualified, the Tartan Army would still be trying to find a decent drink long after the players had arrived home.
After six weeks Down Under, I’ve spent the last few days feeling like a tourist as I wander down the cobbled streets and winding closes of the Old Town. Admittedly, I haven’t been gullible enough to give money to a piper or go on a ghost tour, but I have wondered anew at the ancient splendour on our doorstep.
The first British settlers didn’t arrive in South Australia until the 1830s so even the oldest building in Adelaide is around 100 years newer than Edinburgh’s New Town. It’s also good to be able to buy a proper pint of beer, not what purports to be a pint in the southern hemisphere, where they drink out of unfeasibly small glasses. Someone said this was to stop the beer going warm in the heat. Here in Scotland, we solve that problem by drinking quicker.
On Wednesday, as the airport tram glided along Princes Street, I took in that majestic view for the first time in months. And, as the early spring sunshine reflected off the St James Quarter, even the golden poo looked beautiful. It’s good to be home.