Sarah McLeary

Ceramics and Architecture

Open Doors Edinburgh

This weekend me mam came up from York. It was also the 20th Doors Open Day, so I got the chance to save us both some money, and act like a total tourist in my own city. It was incredibly fun!

We walked around Calton Hill, to the Burns’ Memorial which is seldom open. A folk trio were playing Burns’ songs – can you imagine anything more Scottish? The memorial looks towards the Canongate Kirk Yard, where his mistress Clarinda is buried. How romantic! The Corinthian capitals are being restored – inside are more austere Ionic columns.

There was just time for a cheeky grin before we went on to St Andrew’s House. As I was totally disorganised, I failed to book one of the tours, so we could only see the foyer [full of marble, looked like the entrance to a New York skyscraper] and an exhibition of photos of the interior, which only made me more determined to book a tour next year. The interiors have been restored, and look just as gorgeous at the exteriors.

When we got to Calton Hill, the queue for the Observatory was ridiculous, so we sat and looked at the view for a while, I pointed out some of the other places we could visit, and we set off for the sights of the Royal Mile.

Because I don’t have any children to take, I’ve never been inside the Storytelling Centre. It’s quite clever, the bookshop is shared with the entrance to John Knox’s House next door, there’s a lovely looking cafe, and a huge picture window looking onto the garden, which belongs to the Book Trust. The Book Trust and Cockburn Association buildings were also open.

This was also my first visit to the Scottish Poetry Library, and I hope it won’t be my last. It’s another of the Malcolm Fraser buildings that are all over the city, and is just lovely inside. The place was buzzing, with local poets selling handmade booklets and pamphlets, an exhibition of Small Books, and a huge collection of books to buy. There’s even a cassette tape library! I bought  a lovely book of Haiku.

We met Ferdia, went for a reviving falafel [which was my Mum’s first falafel. York is incredibly monocultural. I didn’t have a Chinese takeaway until I was at Uni] and went to the Uni open buildings. The pic above is from the Reid Musical Instrument Museum, which was so much fun! We also went to the Medical Anatomy Museum and saw loads of flayed hands, feet, skulls and all sorts, but you couldn’t take pictures. You could also go into the lecture theatre, which is sometimes used for period films.

Possibly moar to come!

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This entry was posted on September 27, 2010 by in architecture.
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