Glorious end of summer weather. Sun streamed down on us and we headed straight for that home of visual conundrums and oddities, the Camera Obscura. We eschewed the winding delights of each floor and made a bee-line for the top floor where our show would start soon. Turns out wasp line would have been more appropriate because the roof was lousy with them. They seemed to have expunged themselves from a nest in a chimney across the street. Inside the building was fine but it meant spending only milliseconds at the rooftop view.
The Camera Obscura has remained essentially unchanged for the last 150 years, meaning the show we saw was pretty identical to the one people over a century ago enjoyed. In a darkened chamber our guide wound the lever and revealed an accurate live view of the city around us displayed on a large concave white table. Using paper cards he was able to 'pick up' people and shake them about. Imagining what this experience must have been like in a time before video camera is quite amazing.
Outside we walked the basically couple of steps up to the Castle. Seriously, it's like right there. We didn't go in but enjoyed the views nearby. It was lunch time. I stared longingly at the Witchery, a place I have fantasised about eating in and staying in for years and years. It's exactly the kind of decadent gothic place that appeals to me. We hummed and hawed for a while and I suggested we get a couple of sandwiches and eat on the roof of the National Museum before going 'F*ck it! Let's just go!' Who knows how many more chances we'll have - I decided we should take this one.
Time was running out by now for the third instalment of our day out - the National Museum of Scotland. When I lived in Edinburgh many moons ago I regularly walked down Chamber Street and spent rainy afternoon there, but had not been back since the place was renovated. We made a dash for the rooftop garden while it was still open. By dash I mean utter shambles of a Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines style race because we went up and down all the wrong places before finding the correct lift to get there. (Current refurbishment disruption). But turns out it was worth it because wow, what a view!