Two sides of the Castle

Going to work a few days ago, south side of the Castle as the bus goes through the Grassmarket, home to old inns where Burns once stayed. At this time of year in Scotland the sun is so low in the sky it doesn’t clear Castle Ridge in the early morning, so from the New Town side on the north it is silhouetted with the rising sun behind it. But from the southern view that same low sun, stretched out to a golden copper as warm as the morning air is frigid, washes across the ancient wall and makes the native stone glow with life against a clear, pale blue sky.

This morning, the north side of the Castle, looking from Princes Street, the battlements in shadow as the low sun hides behind the Ridge. Everything is covered in hard frost, from the plants in the valley of the Gardens below the volcanic mount to the walls of the Castle, glittering in morning light, sparkling as if millions of tiny diamonds had been dusted over the city. Beautiful.