Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: edinburgh

Beautiful things: Gates and doors

There are many things I like to take photos of: clouds, reflections, and cityscapes at night, to name a few. Gates and doors are not the most popular or common subjects to photograph, but while sifting through the photos I’ve taken over the years, I realized that I’ve encountered a number of them that impressed me or are simply beautiful. I’ve gathered a small collection of these gates and doors here for your enjoyment.

Perhaps my favourite of them all are these aged but colourful gates all aligned outside the imperial palace in Hue, Vietnam. This is certainly not what most people went to the palace to see but it somehow caught my attention. There were at least five arched doorways (maybe not even gates or doors themselves?) that were lined up in a row in such a way that it was very pleasing to the sight. Almost symmetrical, but not quite perfectly, which is where its beauty lies.

The second one is this gate somewhere in Basel, the first city that I visited in Switzerland. You can only see the outline of the gate itself but two things appealed to me: the elegant details of the curves on the gate and the vivid colours on the other side. The contrast between the dark silhouette and the bright exterior further accentuated the features of the gate, making it one of the most unique ones I’ve seen.

Onto one that took on a rather different style – a door covered with graffiti in Prague. The sprayed writings on the door made it look quite messy, and in fact the door couldn’t be any more ordinary. Ironically, that’s what made it special to me because it shows that the ordinary exists, even in a popular and acclaimed tourist destination like Prague.

Let’s stay in Prague for a bit and go to the Prague Castle, where two weapon-wielding giants guard one of its gates. The one on the left chose a bat as his weapon of choice while the one on the right had a sharp object, presumably a knife of some sort. Each giant was in action, arresting what seemed like tresspassers trying to bypass castle security. Don’t mess with the giants or you might end up under their feet like that…

This door-and-window combination, photographed in Saint-ร‰milion, couldn’t be simpler, but its exquisiteness lies in the details. The three pots of flower, the octagonal hole in which one of them was placed, the aged walls, the intricate but delicate patterns on the curtains inside, the cobblestone street…a perfectly serene picture.

And finally…here’s a creepy gate that leads to a cemetery, I presume. I had actually completely forgotten where I took this photo and had to dig through my harddrive to find out that it was in…Edinburgh! Looking through photos of this particular trip, I believe this was taken at the Greyfriars Kirkyard. Indeed Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities in Europe and I visited it plenty of times when I was living in Glasgow. In addition to the many spectacular spots that most tourists would visit, Edinburgh certainly hides some secrets very well, like this one… ๐Ÿ˜‰

What beautiful thing should I blog about next? Shadows? Clouds? Reflections? Hmm…

The hills are alive…on Arthur’s Seat!

Speaking of hills, a very easily reachable summit from Glasgow would be Arthur’s Seat, situated right in Edinburgh an hour away. To be precise, there is a group of hills in Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, and Arthur’s Seat is the most well-known peak among them. I had been looking for the perfect opportunity to go, mostly considering weather and my availability. The opportunity finally presented itself at the end of September, so I was only too happy to embark on the journey to conquer my next summit – Arthur’s Seat.

Holyrood Park is accessible from the centre of Edinburgh via a 20-minute walk from Waverley train station to the beginning of the hiking trails. From the base of the hills, there were many paths that led up to Arthur’s Seat, but instead of taking the common route up from the front, I made a small detour to the back of the park and decided to ascend a random trail that was not as crowded as the main path. Up ahead in the above picture is Arthur’s Seat – still quite a bit of walking to do!

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Edinburgh, the first impression

My first trip to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, happened in mid-April, almost 6 months after my arrival in this country. I said “first” trip because it sure wouldn’t be the last. Edinburgh is only an hour away from Glasgow by train, so it is even more convenient than going to Paris from Bordeaux. I could pretty much go every weekend and know the city as well as I know Glasgow. The visit was with friends who were actually visiting me in Glasgow. We figured we’d do a day trip in Edinburgh, the first for me and for them.

The first thing I noticed when I exited Edinburgh Waverley train station was the Scott Monument. It kind of looked like a cathedral building with a hole in the middle and I thought…this looked really cool. I had to rush to meet my friends though, so I only passed by the monument quickly and made note of its location so that I could come back later. Oh, and the sky was super blue that April day, thank God!

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