Edinburgh sparkles

As part of the seasonal Edinburgh Sparkles campaign the annual German Christmas Market is on the Mound, the craft and food stalls and fair in Princes Street Gardens, including the open air ice-rink:

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The market brings a lovely sense of light and warmth into the long, chill winter nights, the smell of cooking food, the crowds and the aroma of hot, spiced drinks being consumed, a lovely little oasis of life in the black winter months:

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And it’s a good place to chat to the market traders and craftes while looking for something a bit different for a present:

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There’s much yummines to be had!

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And you can get some nice Christmas decorations too:

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I’ve bought some of these painted glass candle globes as present before, couple for myself too:

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And no matter what age you are there is always something magical about the toy stall, isn’t there?

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Christmas market at night

The traditional Winter Wonderland in Princes Street Gardens is up and running, the small fair and the German Market on the Mound. I felt very sorry for them during the heavy snow, all set up but with hardly anyone going round them due to the weather. Even the other night when I took some of these it was much quieter than it usually is, despite there being no snow for a few days. Bitterly cold, sure, but it always is in December when this is here and it doesn’t stop people, but a week to Christmas and even on late night opening there were people around but nowhere near as busy as I normally see it at this time of year. Still pretty to walk around though, the light and warmth and the smell of hot, spiced drinks and food against the cold, dark, winter night.

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Just as I pressed the shutter the lady leaned forward with something from the stall and kids all smiled at just the right time. Sometimes you get lucky in street photograpy (and also lucky it came out considering it was night and it was all freehand and no use of flash)

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Chocolates and sweeties!

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Hot, spiced drinks warm the bones in the cold night

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Looking across Princes Street Gardens, the ice rink down below in the valley, the National Gallery of Scotland behind it and above it all Edinburgh Castle.

Pictures on the Beeb

Rather than end my last post of 2008 before I go out with such a downer as the previous one (I wanted to write something more positive but it just ain’t there inside me right now), here’s one very little piece of nicer news – the BBC News site has used another of my photographs (that’s three now, I think) in their weekly In Pictures feature in the Scottish section, it’s the eighth one in on the slideshow, taken during the German market just before Christmas on the Mound. In fact its the very one I posted on here just a few days ago (I’d repost it here but Blogger, as is often the case, is refusing to upload images again like it does several times a week, grrr, but you can see it full size on my Flickr).

Update, got it to bloody load the pic at last, click to go to the bigger version on Flickr:

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