Thursday, 9 April 2015

A trip to Edinburgh

I'm currently letting my feet have a well earned rest after I spent the day walking around a very sunny Edinburgh yesterday. I took the train early in the morning to do one of my favourite things: wander all day and explore about.  I love doing this at least once a month as I always discover new things each time.  I had the dilemma first thing in the morning of whether or not to take my new camera. It may seem like it should be a given to take it but one negative about my camera is that it's very heavy. To carry it around with my bag all day on my dodgy shoulders that flare up and give me headaches didn't seem like a good idea.  I was sad at not taking it as soon as I arrived in Edinburgh, seeing what a beautiful day it was, but my shoulder by the end of the day was already painful so I knew it had been a good idea in that sense. I did take a few photos with my trusty phone though and it hasn't got that bad a camera so it wasn't too bad.

I had to immediately dive into a shop to buy some sunglasses. I found myself in Urban Outfitters and did indeed find some nice sunglasses there, along with some holographic and polka dot nail polish which I've had my eye on in their online store for a while so I was quite pleased.
I then proceeded to try and find an art shop I've been wanting to visit. Google maps told me it was 12 minutes away.  This was a perfect amount of time to get there and look before lunch but half an hour later I found myself down some street which still, according to the map, was ages away from the shop. Thankfully lunch called though in the form of my sister who worked near by to where I'd gotten lost and she managed to direct me from there.  Art shop of mystery was forgotten about for at least this trip and we headed off for lunch at Princes Street Gardens.  It felt like the height of summer.  It was absolutely boiling and the view of the castle was perfect, a daily favourite of my sister's still, even after having lived there for nearly a year.  You just can't get bored of this place. We had a lovely lunch and catch up and then she headed back to work and I headed for a look around St Cuthbert's Churchyard.  As always I find old graveyards like these such peaceful, beautiful places which are of course full of history as well. It's hard to believe now that the church was taken to court in 1867 as they would not stop burials taking place as of course this brought them in money.  The City Corporation at the time deemed the churchyard to be a health risk as it was so completely full.  I can't begin to imagine what it must have looked and probably smelled like back then.  Certainly not the lovely surroundings it is now.

I carried on my walk along Princes Street and into the Scottish National Gallery.  I didn't have a look at the exhibitions today as I was trying to cover areas I haven't been to for a while, but I always like to have a little look around the shop of course. They have some lovely books on drawing at the moment, especially life drawing.  This accompanies a small exhibition of work by those attending their Saturday life drawing classes.  The exhibition is called Body Work and it's on until the 31st of May.  I think when I go for a trip next month, I'll have a proper look at this as I loved life drawing when I was at university and if I was living in Edinburgh I'd love to be attending these classes.

I then headed of to visit Greyfriar's Art Shop, an art shop that I knew I could definitely find! I love the amount of sketchbooks they have here and I noticed some pens I haven't tried out before too. I got    some ZIG artist sketching pens in brown and black as well as some good old faithful Staedtler pigment liners in 0.05. I also got a favourite drawing pad of mine, a Daler Rowney Smooth Heavyweight, as well as well as the shops own pad with a variety of papers in it.
I then headed towards the Grassmarket and had a good look around Armstrongs vintage clothes shop.  I wasn't looking to buy anything but I can't pass this shop without having a look around.  The vintage smell in the shop is brilliant and I enjoyed having a look through the rails of 40s, 50s and 60s dresses.

After that I went up to a favourite of mine, The Red Door Gallery.  As soon as I step in the door my eyes go crazy looking around as they have so many lovely things. I got myself some gorgeous earrings by Lucie Ellen.  I've since had a look at her etsy store and there is certainly more items I'd love to buy from her in the future.  I recommend checking out her work.

Further up the street I visited the clothing shop Swish.  I dived in when I saw a t-shirt in the window with Totoro on it.  Five minutes later I'd bought it.  I just couldn't say no.  It had to be done.
After some more wandering about in this area I began to head back towards the train station.  I visited a few more shops on the way and got myself a Han Solo t-shirt, because again it was crying out to me, and then visited a favourite of mine, Cutie House.  I got some rather cute little charms for my phone from here.

By this point my feet were in quite a bit of pain, as was my shoulder so I thought it best to get back on the train. To my dismay there were no seats! I almost started whimpering a little at the prospect of not being able to sit down, especially as I felt I was about to fall down.  Then I realised a lot of people were giving their bags a seat...So myself, and others standing managed to eventually get seats, by swapping with people's luggage. A short snooze later,  I was home and having a much needed fish supper. I look forward to my next visit in a month.

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