Despite the incredible chilliness of the winter weather here, I still do love walking.  I mentioned already that my Sunday afternoon walks back from church are my favorite time of the week, but I walk quite a bit pretty much every day, not just on Sundays.  I walk to and from campus (about a mile and a half round trip), to and from the grocery store (also about a mile and a half), down to Holyrood Park (it’s at the bottom of the Royal Mile and I live at the top… you do the math), and to various other places in the city for errands and whatnot.

I don’t miss driving at all.  As many of you know, I actively avoided driving back in the States because it stressed me out so much.  Here, I am free.  And while I might crash into things occasionally, it is slightly less stressful to worry about bumping into that stray lamp post (I swear they move into my path sometimes) or a suddenly opening door than to be hurtling down a busy street in a huge metal beast on wheels and praying desperately that another massive metal beast doesn’t move into my path at just the wrong moment (although, to be honest, the only massive metal beasts I normally see around here are the buses.  The cars are just… cute).

Anyway, I find walking to be invigorating (it wakes me up in the morning) and soothing (a good way to calm down after a long day).  And, of course, I am always trying to capture the wonderful world around me with a camera.  PS continues to both frustrate and surprise me.  It cannot do the things that I want my camera to do, but sometimes, I get a really beautiful shot, nonetheless.

 Another walk through The Meadows at dawn reminds me that the weather here isn’t nearly as grim as I was led to expect.  Yes, the clouds do come, but they move swiftly in and out so that the sky is nearly as often blue as it is grey.  And often, it is somewhere in between, which I kind of like more.

 A beautiful morning can almost make even the ugly modern buildings pretty.

Almost.

I still resent their existence.

 Oh, tower, I would love to own you.

 There would be books, and a cozy little chair, and music… and more books…

 My walk back to my building involves this raised path overlooking Victoria Street.  The multicoloured shops always make me smile.  Such cute, bright, little tourist traps.

 I really enjoy it when I notice buildings that are otherwise fairly boring, but that have detailed and intricate door and window carvings.

Your effort is duly appreciated.

 See?  There is plenty of sunshine in this frigid place!  Plenty!

Even in daylight, the lamp posts please me greatly.

 Up, up, up the last little bit of sidewalk to my building.  The sound of bagpipes from the Mile grows steadily louder.  The congestion level of tourists increases exponentially…

 I  glance to my left as I walk back up to the Mylne’s Court archway and appreciate the towering… tower there.

It always kindly lets me know the time so I know if I’m late or not when I leave in the morning.

And a little further up at the end of the Mile, I can see the castle peeking through.

 From the steps of my building, I get to see the tower one more time before I go inside.

The day was so inspiring that I decided to use a need for study snacks as an excuse to go back out for a walk.  The sun was coming down (in midday! *offended*) but it made for glorious golden light.

There’s definitely a reason photographers are so fond of sunrise and sunset.

 I had to tweak this photo to get the sky to show up clearly, and adjusting the exposure compensation basically makes whatever is in the foreground completely silhouetted, but I kind of like the effect altogether.

 As I pass by St Giles on my way down the Mile to the grocery store, I glance behind me and notice just how pretty it is to look back up the road.  A photograph had to happen.

 Facing back down toward my distant destination…

 Round tower, how I love you!

 I made it out of the store with my snacks before the sun was completely set.  The sky continued to be incredibly pretty.

 Another of these…

 Light reflects off of one of the windows of St Giles Cathedral.

 It gets darker and colder and I really want warmth, hot chocolate, and to have feeling in my fingers again.

 I say goodbye to a pretty day and think fondly of a time when light will last longer and days will be temperate enough that I can go on walks without worrying about frostbitten extremities.

My beloved DSLR is almost fixed and will be sent back to me soon.  I think that will inspire several expeditions regardless of the weather.

But now it’s time to outline an essay.  Because I’m here for university.

(Mostly)

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