I woke up late this morning and thought, There’s no way I can stay inside all day today.  Look at the sunshine and the pretty!

By the time I actually got up, the sky was grey.  But before I had a chance to become truly annoyed, it had cleared back up again.

I knew it was a risk (when the weather is fickle like that, you never know what will happen), but I needed to get out.

So I took a walk.

Since the temperature was somewhat moderate and the skies were blue, I dressed warmly, but not as if I were entering the Arctic Tundra to hunt for polar bears.

That was my first mistake.

When I walked out my front door, I was hit with a blast of wind that stole my breath and acted as if my sweater and puffy vest were not even there.  I retreated immediately and put on a warmer coat and scarf.

Evil weather.

 Why does Karen get a unicorn???  I find that strikingly unfair.


Also, it’s  a Chinese restaurant?  Confused…

 My original vague notion was to find the Botanic Gardens and wander about a bit, but I didn’t look up which road off of Princes Street I was supposed to take.  That was my second mistake.  But far be it from me to turn around a second time to look up the directions.  I was already on my way and much too lazy to walk back up the long, steep steps to my flat again.

So I chose a road at random and decided to see where it would take me.  It turned out to be a lot of fun.

 My road led me down to a quiet residential area with a private garden in the middle.  It was lined with pretty town houses.

People walked their dogs – or children – and the atmosphere was idyllic…

I pretended that I lived there too so no one would squint suspiciously at the intruder.

 The brick roads are so nice!  I wish more places used them instead of ugly, nasty asphalt.

I walked a full circle around the little townhouse area and headed off down another street, cheerfully ignoring the fact that I could become well and truly lost if I didn’t keep a mental map in my head of where I was going.

It was all too easy to peer down a street and become so charmed with the buildings lining the road that I just had to detour in order to snap a few shots.  I did keep note of the detours, but my ability to retain a mental map has never been stellar…

 I was busy appreciating window boxes and colorful doorways when I noticed one particular plaque by a pretty blue door.

 Edinburgh Spiritualist Society…  interesting…

Wait, so healings are on Mondays?  But if you want some good old fashioned clairvoyance, you need to come by on Thursday or Sunday.  Hmm, too bad I missed yesterday’s ‘open circle.’

I walked quickly away from that particular door.  I didn’t want to get dragged into whatever they do on Saturdays.  Apparently it’s too secret to even advertise!

 L’escargot Bleu?

Ewwwwwwww…….

I was reaching the end of one particular street (or at least as far as I intended to go) and I saw this beautiful cathedral.  When I got closer, I discovered, to my disappointment, that it isn’t even being used as a church anymore.  You can rent it out for events.

 I find this something of a surprise since I’ve found Scotland thus far to have active, thriving churches.

It makes me very sad to see such a lovely building being wasted in such a way.

 Roundabout!

Notice how blue and clear the sky is?  It held quite nicely the entire time I was out.  It was incredibly cold, though, mostly because of the wind, which would often knock me slightly sideways if I wasn’t paying attention.

Sneaky wind.

 You just know that the people who built this and worshiped here would be sad too…

Lovely cross at the top!

 Note to self:  Restrain hair before setting out into gale force winds…

Another lovely structure.  At least this one is still being used as a church.  I love the towers!

 This is The Conan Doyle, folks.

It’s a Saturday, so traffic is pretty crazy at midday.  Princes Street has tons of shopping and everyone has a place to be.  It’s definitely the sort of day to look both ways several times before crossing.  I’m getting better at remembering where cars come from now, but you can never be too careful on a day like this.

 Hmm… with my keen instinct for direction, I am going to guess that it is this way…

 Let’s check on the windswept look I’m sporting… Yep, still windswept.  Perhaps even windsweptier than before.

A back road.  This city has so much character.  This is a place where stories would happen.  No wonder authors love it!

 Towering spires reaching for the clouds…

The sun still pierces the cloud cover.  There is still blue to be seen.  It’s still a nice day!

Okay, yes, it’s really really cold and windy.  But nice.  A brisk two hour walk was exactly what I needed before retreating to my room for reading and relaxation.

 Louis Vuitton’s cupcakes are tres chic.

Pff, mine are still better.

At least mine are edible.

 Scotland: where even banking can be epic.

I rediscovered Princes Street.  In my defense, I was never really truly lost, just sort of away from my usual path.  I saw new things and went new places.  It was a deliberate kind of getting lost.

But I was freezing cold and as I reached the plaza, the overwhelming bagpipes and drums were belting out, yet again, the Last of the Mohicans for an entranced tourist crowd (golly, we’ve never heard anything like this before ever!!!).

I knew it was time to escape and get back to my warm, cozy little room to post my new pictures and grab a book.

This afternoon will be dedicated to Muireann Ni Bhrolchain’s Introduction to Early Irish Literature.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend as well.  Take a walk somewhere lovely and take pictures of beautiful things.   And if you do, let me know so I can see the results!