The significance of sunshine

Most would agree that sunny days are preferable to dark and gloomy ones. But how much of a difference do they make?

In Edinburgh, I think they change everything. Today we had some spectacular sunshine, and it made this city glow. Dark grey stone on grey wet days has the advantage of casting a slightly ominous but also romantic gloom here – which I think of as its normal mantle.

But today was a glorious fall day that could have been had in New England, and it brought with it a real energy and lightness.

We started out in our own neighborhood in York Place, looking for birthplace of Arthur Conan Doyle, and a statue of his creation, Sherlock Holmes. The birthplace is now a roundabout, but a pub notes his presence, and we found Sherlock tucked into a corner.

We next went to the train station to pick up some tickets, and stopped to admire the light streaming through lovely windows. Quite a contrast to New York’s Penn Station.

Next we headed for the Royal Mile, heading up through Fleshmarket Close. (Wonder what they used to sell there.) We found ourselves back in Parliament Square and went in to see the old Parliament Hall, which was quite stunning, though off-limits to cameras.

Our next stop was the National Gallery, which has a lovely range of works by Renaissance and Dutch painters, and an impressive gallery of Scottish artists.

It was very exciting to see a portrait of Thomas Lamb of Rye, by Allan Ramsay. We were just in Thomas Lamb’s house in Rye, and here we find him in Scotland!

On the recommendation of Fiona and Alasdair, we had lunch in the lovely restaurant under the National Gallery, which gave us a spectacular view of Edinburgh on this glorious day. Plus we feasted on partridge breast, vegetable soup, Cullen Skink, and Isle of Mull cheddar with macaroni. Wonderful.

It was a glorious day – till the sun left us. But while it was here, it made everything lovely and warm. And that’s how we think of Edinburgh.

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