Upon reaching the weekend and finally escaping the aeonian hold work seemed to have over me, I once again ventured into Edinburgh city centre, this time with my trusty DSLR (recently bought a new blue Aztec patterned strap off Amazon to look inadvertently look ever so slightly more hipster).
I first wandered up and down Princes Street to see the plethora of monuments amongst the beautiful old sandstone building; all with brightly glowing fluorescent shop signs affixed to them of course– gotta love the 21st century.
The Scott Monument is an imposing, monolithic, gothic shrine to William Scott, one of Edinburgh’s great authors and poets (check out his wikipedia page here). It is amazing to see up close, the amount of thought and detail that has gone into its creation is slightly staggering, it boasts almost 70 separate statues encompassed within the tower design.
Designed by George Meikle Kemp.
This tower was essentially built on lies, Kemp taught himself the art of architecture and submitted his design under a fake name to avoid any potential backlash from his lack of qualifications.
It’s definitely worth seeing this goliath lit up at night, the shadows cast by the lights really emphasise the gothic characteristics of the monument.
Now why James Young Simpson hasn’t got a bigger monument I will never know. His impact on the world has been profound, I mean where would we be without the line “hey, does this rag smell like chloroform?”.
In the distance I could hear the thud of a sound system, boom boom boom. Intrigued the raver in me briskly headed for the source of the tumultuous sounding subwoofers. As I neared the source I looked over a low, spiked metal fence and into Princes Street Gardens to see a horde of people silhouetted against a barrage of colour and light from beneath a gazebo. This was not the free party-esque event (illegal rave) I’d been hoping for.. This was Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light.
I made my way down the slippery stone slope into the crowd and onto a series of long concrete steps surrounding the tent, I was forced to think of a roman amphitheatre whilst watching the Hindu dancing on the stage in front. There was a hypnotic element to the gracious swirls of the dancers arms and the sways of their bodies emphasised by the traditional Hindustani music; it was easy to become fixated and lost in the performance.
Being the festival of light there was a tremendous fireworks display afterwards, unfortunately I had already left for a tour around some of the underground chambers in Edinburgh. The display sounded amazing and went on a good 15 – 20 minutes and ended with one of the biggest fireworks I’ve seen, it rose high above the old town and filled the sky with a shower of red and gold sparkles.
Basically… Check out a Diwali festival whenever you get a chance!
I’m so glad to be a part of a multicultural society at times like these, being in the cosmopolitan Edinburgh is such a nice change to experience other cultures first hand. These experiences can generally add another perspective to your life as well as a little more understanding.
I’m going to follow this post up shortly with another about the underground tour of Edinburgh I took part in.
But for now, I’m off 🙂