Menorca has sunshine, something we all know but it was still a bit of a shock after our rotten summer to feel the heat of the sun on the skin all day long! We sat in the sun, explored the island, went out on a boat for a day and had a roller coaster ride back to port followed by very strange attack of unsteadiness during dinner even before the wine started. We saw bronze age remains, went to local fiesta and became part of the parade by walking alongside the floats and giant figures in an odd foreigner not realising what they were doing sort of way. Of course we had lots of lovely meals and drinks from Pimms on the veranda to sangria on the portside. All very good then back to the rain, cold and storms of England.
My last post had mention of a visit to the Edinburgh Fringe. I penned a short article for a travel writing competition on the trip – sadly no prized publication in the Guardian but here it is for posterity and because I’ve not been in London to report anything of interest..
More next time!
Peeping through the Fringe
It’s August and it’s Scotland so we are simply hoping to miss the rain, there seems no danger of exposing still pale English skin to the northern sun. Avoiding the guilt of a carbon footprint we take the train from London which zooms up the West Coast of England and we feel smug if a little cramped as everyone else has the same thought and there is not a spare inch to be had.
We arrive at Edinburgh Waverley armed with 6 bookings and 2 days in which to pack in comedy, theatre, an exploration of the city, some galleries and a big brunch on the last day – it’s Fringe time, the annual burst of performance which Edinburgh hosts each August. Edinburgh is a fabulously physical city which you can navigate by its hills, valleys and the wonderful volcanic ridge at the heart of the city on which sits the Royal Mile. Now there’s a thing, the Royal Mile is in fact the High Street and therefore does not appear on maps, guaranteed to confuse the tourist who has this on their list of ‘must sees’.
We dash from comedy to comedy, desperate to arrive on time and miss the walk through the dark to the special seats in the front row saved for late comers. Thankfully cabs are quite cheap to those from London so we treat ourselves, dodge the showers and slip safely into our seats.
Edinburgh is buzzing, the Royal Mile is full of street acts and hoards of students dressed up as who knows what handing out flyers by the hundred. Every street has lines of excited punters waiting eagerly for their next show to start. But it’s not just the Fringe in town, an altogether posher crowd gather for the Book Festival who clutch their volumes for the many book signings and the chance to get up close to their favourite author. If that was not enough, or not to your taste, Edinburgh looks to cater for all comers: the Festival is all dance, classical music, opera and proper theatre, I’m sure there’s a circus somewhere and there’s a Tattoo in the castle every night, the greatest exhibition of military music in the world (they say) but it’s outdoor so is a great excuse to buy a tartan rug. Did I mention there’s a lot of tartan in town? It’s everywhere so beware.
Time accelerates so an art gallery and a jazz brunch have to be squeezed in before a dash back to Waverley and we pull out of town in the blazing sunshine as the blue sky has come to wish us a good journey. We did get our blast of warmth in the end as the air conditioning on the train broke down and short sleeves suddenly appeared. Our peep into the Fringe was exhilarating and just made us want to go back for more and to really get to know Edinburgh, whatever the weather.