Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Arriving in Edinburgh

Freed at last from the heaving confines of the Hebridean fishing ketch on which he and his party found transport from the Shetlands to the mainland, Dr. von Traun settled with some hesitation into the hackney carriage secured by his manservant from the waterfront public house at Leith.

The carriage rattled south through the soft mist along the uneven Leith Walk to Edinburgh to the south. Skirting to the right around Calton Hill, the carriage rolled through the narrow valleys of the city's skyscraping tenements--10 and 12 stories high, some of them, but still not tall enough to completely block out Edinburgh Castle towering grey over all against the slate-coloured heavens beyond. Continuing on the carriage bounced along the cobbled streets, crossing High Street into the Southside district in which many of the university buildings were located.

Lurching to a halt before a modest grey building undistinguished but for a brass plate beside the front door engraved "Natural Philosophy," the carriage driver called out, "Teviot Place; Toun's College." Dr. von Traun's manservant stepped out first and proceeded to the doorman, to whom he presented his master's calling card:

"Dr. Werner von Traun
Technical Counselor to His Grace Ignaz von Pfalz-Kognat-Obersayn


tradgardmastare said...

I grew up in Edinburgh and found your posting very evocative of my favourite city. I dont live that far away now and will think of Von Traun when I am there next!

Fitz-Badger said...

I've been to Edinburgh myself a few times from the 70's on. One of my favorite cities in the UK I try to make a point of stopping there for at least a couple of days when I travel over there (that makes it sound like it happens often, but really it's only been 5 times in the past 30 years!).