The Streets

A few centuries ago, Edinburgh was nicknamed “Auld Reekie” (Old Reeky) due to a high volume of people living within a confined space in the city’s walls with inadequate plumbing. Okay, it was also due to lots of industrialization which resulted in high volumes of smoke. Nonetheless, Edinburgh wasn’t always a shining example of a capitol city.

Since returning from Sweden and Germany, I’ve had a series of lung and nasal congestions which have kept me from wandering about the city too much (and also are a big part of the reason for lack of blogs, as I’ve been sleeping more than usual. Apologies), but today I ran some errands. And there are a few things I’ve noticed about the streets.

  1. Relatively, Edinburgh streets seem more cracked and worn than the streets in Germany and Sweden. I can’t remember about other countries I’ve visited in Europe, or even England, but it is definitely noticeable when you are dragging rolling luggage behind you.
  2. There is more gum on the sidewalk beneath a bus stop than there is in a grocery store check-out line.
  3. You’ll stumble across something like this every few feet:  Except sometimes it’s not obviously soda. Sometimes it’s obviously not soda, as it contains chunks of what I assume was once food. :/
  4. It is frequent to have construction blocking your path (something I’m used to, coming from Utah). (this is a picture of the amount of dust created from a demolition just a few buildings away from my home).
  5. Sometimes the streets have interesting messages, like this one:  (Also pictured: the infamous gum splatter.)
  6. And sometimes, the streets surprise and delight you with having lovelies such as this casually sprawled about the curb:

Edinburgh is NOT the dirtiest place I’ve even been, and it is definitely no longer “reeky,” but sometimes I wonder what it would take to get that gum off the sidewalk. This is, however, one reason to be grateful for Edinburgh’s frequent rain.


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