Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Ginger's Fringe

(Sorry for the title: had to be done)

This weekend I spent 36 hours in Edinburgh on what was my first trip north of the border (and, I'm afraid to say, north of a lot of places). It was therefore my first ever taste of the Edinburgh Festival, and an enjoyable one it was too.

I decided pretty quickly that Edinburgh is a great place. I'm such a city girl - I can't help but be lured in by nice architecture and the buzz of city life. It was such a contrasting cityscape to London. For one thing, although it's a large city, nowhere I've been to is as big as London, so you have all the proper city stuff close together without all the excess padding that London has. For another, there's a whacking great... ditch? valley? that separates the old and new towns. I was convinced that there'd be a river down there and was most disappointed to find it was just a railway line. Nonetheless, it's certainly got a very interesting topography which creates some very striking views. Alongside some amazing scenary on the route up to Scotland, it made me realise there aren't enough hills in my life. Real ones, that is. Goodness knows I've had enough of metaphorical ones for a while!

Had some good fun exploring bits of the Fringe Festival. The amount of stuff on is absolutely overwhelming - our first act after arriving somewhat worse for wear was to get hold of the guide of events for that day and sit down with some breakfast to make a plan. It took quite a while. Discovering that some of our choices were sold out added to the confusion, but we got there eventually. We ended up seeing some Taize singers (soothing), Flamenco (exhilarating), a rap interpretation of the Canterbury Tales (not really my cup of tea but well-executed), and 'Tony! The Blair Musical' (I like both musicals and satire, so this was probably my highlight). We also managed to fit in a visit to the Castle (well, we couldn't not go) and a very good free exhibition at the National Library of Scotland focussing on a number of authors who had had work published by John Murray.

So, despite my much-professed love of London, I will happily admit that other cities (especially capitals) have an awful lot to offer. I note that the university does a Masters course I'm very interested in (what, you though I was going to get a proper job after I finish my PhD?!) So don't be surprised if a few years down the line I become the author of 'Ginger's Guide to Edinburgh Streets'. ;-)

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