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.
- 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.
- There is more gum on the sidewalk beneath a bus stop than there is in a grocery store check-out line.
- 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.
- 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).
- Sometimes the streets have interesting messages, like this one: (Also pictured: the infamous gum splatter.)
- 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.