13 March 2012

A quick, one-day visit to Edinburgh

Rising above the clouds over Dublin this morning (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

Patrick Comerford

It was an early start this morning. The taxi arrived at 4.50 a.m., and I was at the airport by 5.20 for the first flight to Edinburgh.

As the plane climbed through the clouds, the sun was rising, and in warmth of its glow and in the blue skies it was possible to imagine that this was an early summer morning rather than early spring.

I was leaving Edinburgh Airport before 8 a.m., and had an hour for a busy walk around Edinburgh castle, down the Royal Mile, and along Prince’s Street, past Sir Walter Scott’s Monument, before heading to Grosvenor Crescent and the offices of the Scottish Episcopal Church for a consultation on ‘Deacons, the Diaconate and Diakonia,’ chaired by the Very Revd John Armes, Dean of Edinburgh and Bishop-elect of Edinburgh.

Deacon Brodie ... not a subject for discussion at todayx’s consultation in Edinburgh (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

The meeting lasted all day, but at the end of the day there was still time for a visit to Saint Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral nearby before another walk up the Mound, along the Royal Mile to see Deacon Brodie’s House, Saint Giles Cathedral – the ‘High Kirk’ – Parliament Square, Mercat Cross, the Tron Kirk, Old Saint Paul’s and John Knox’s House.

Time was too short. I never got to climb Calton Hill and to see for myself why this city is called the “Athens of the North.”

A lone busker at Waverley Bridge in Edinburgh this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

As I caught the Airport Express at Waverley Bridge, a young woman replete in kilt and traditional Scottish dress was busking on the bagpipes.

As the bus passed Edinburgh Zoo and Murrayfield, I could count many reasons for planning a return visit. In the meantime, there’s enough to write about my first visit to Edinburgh at a later date, and plenty of photographs for illustrations.

I was leaving Dublin Airport and heading for home by 9 p.m.

Ballyconnell, Virginia, Achill Island, Edinburgh ... all within five days. I’m sure my body will recover soon.

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