It’s Sunday and there are blinks of sun between the clouds. The temperature has at long last risen but the wind is whipping branches into a waltz and spinning the clumps of daffodil buds.
Good to get out, but good to be able to shelter from the wind as well. So without checking what is on we decide on a trip to the Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh. Seeing paintings invariably cheers and inspires us.
Our route takes us over Dun Law where a wind farm has been constructed.
Dun Law gives way to Soutra, the 1200 foot rampart that divides the Borders from Midlothian. To our left is Soutra Aisle, all that remains of a hospital founded in 1164 near to the Via Regia, the main route from Edinburgh to the Border Abbeys and the south. Known as the House of the Holy Trinity, the hospital complex was run by the Augustinian Order and is said to have been the largest and best endowed hospital of mediaeval Scotland.
As well as looking after the sick, travellers and pilgrims were also welcomed. In recent years archaeological investigations have uncovered much fascinating information on medieval life and medicines.
From the Edinburgh Ring Road, Arthur’s Seat, the main peak of the group of hills that form most of Holyrood Park, can be seen. I couldn’t resist taking a photo through the car windscreen.
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art moved to its present building in 1984. The neo-classical building, which dates from 1825 was formerly John Watson’s School, an institution for fatherless children.
The exhibition that is running until the autumn was on death – not quite the cheerful stuff we had looked forward to. So the grounds drew us.
The grounds around the building play host to numerous sculptures as well as the imposing Landform Ueda, a landscaped design by architect Charles Jencks, inspired by chaos theory and shapes found in nature.
Despite its proximity to the city centre the gallery grounds lead onto The Water of Leith Walkway, a beautiful thirteen mile walk through the heart of Edinburgh along the banks of the waterway. A number of works by sculptor Antony Gormley can be seen here, but too late for that today.
Driving back through the centre of Edinburgh I managed to get a shot of some of the New Town’s buildings with their wrought iron balconies.
Further on in an area formerly dominated by a brewery (both in sight and smell) much new housing is being built alongside Lochrin Basin, the resited terminus of the Union Canal that runs from Falkirk to Edinburgh.
Built in 1822 to bring coal to Edinburgh, the canal has undergone significant restoration and is now used for recreation. The narrow boats add a splash of colour.
And to top off a pleasant, if windy, day as we neared home I managed to get a shot of a lamb, one of the first I’ve seen this cold, dull spring. Cute wee thing!