River walking

Went walking with Gordon and his dog Bruce this afternoon and decided to follow the Water of Leith in the other direction. After a long, meandering path through more leafy trees we eventually come out at the Visitor Centre which sits below a huge viaduct which the main Glasgow-Edinburgh rail line runs on and, parallel and only a few yards away an equally impressive aqueduct for the canal, enormous arches spanning the valley, 60, 70 feet above our heads, wide enough and strong enough to carry express trains and thousands of gallons of water respectively. Say what you like about our Victorian predecessors, but those guys knew how to build and how to build to last. We repaired to a nearby beer garden at the Tickled Trout and sat outside sipping cool beer beneath a shady tree listening to the river flowing by. Nothing to do and all day to do it.

Climbed the stairs from the river up to the aqueduct and walked back home along the canal towpath (the view from the aqueduct is amazing). This runs right by my home and I cycle along here regularly. Once it was overgrown and messy but now it has all been fixed up as part of the Millennium Projects. Closed sections are reconnected and you can now cycle along a wide, even path all the way to Glasgow (right past my parent’s home actually). And now traffic has returned to the water. Where before the only boats there belonged to the University’s rowing team now narrow boats ply their way along almost into the centre of Edinburgh for the first time in decades. Right along from my house there’s an entire dock for them where only five years ago all you could hire was a rowboat. A very pleasant piece of regeneration that everyone can enjoy.