So I thought I had worked out Haymarket. After several episodes when I have confidently headed in any number of wrong directions, I should have learned that if I know anything, it’s that I don’t know which way to go when I come out of Haymarket station and that – due to the fact that Edinburgh’s topology is in some indefinable way just wrong – whichever way I think I’m going, that way will be the wrong way. Indeed, I should know by know that the only sure way I can ever navigate around Edinburgh is to head for the Pedal on Parliament route and go from there, as, after 7 years, I’ve just about got that one committed to memory (unlike the Glasgow one…) or failing that just break down and turn the GPS onto my phone and let the magic of technology guide me.
However, having arranged to meet a friend for lunch yesterday near where I’d got the Brompton serviced, I might have got a bit too cocky. After all, I had navigated the route before, and I had looked at Google Maps to check, and I had cross referenced it with the map outside the station. I was fairly certain which direction to head off in, so it was just a question of discarding Google’s walking route suggestion as clearly insane and … heading off confidently down the wrong road. I swear to God Edinburgh rearranges itself every time my back is turned.
This may also explain why, having had a very enjoyable 3-hour lunch (there wasn’t even any booze involved, but there may have been cake and there was certainly gossip) I managed to completely fail to find the Central Library, despite it actually being on the POP route, someone having unaccountably moved it to the other side of the George IV Bridge when I wasn’t looking. Honestly, the festival really has gone too far these days.
The worst part was I was on foot, which meant battling along Edinburgh’s unnacountably narrow pavements through festival crowds, every single one of whom appeared to be either handing out flyers or doing the mime act of ‘man stopping to consult mobile phone abruptly in the middle of the pavement’ (although, to be fair, they might have been trying to work out where another Edinburgh landmark had rearranged itself to now). As I had already been walked off my feet by my friends in Fife, I was pretty footsore and weary when I finally made it down to the Princes Street Gardens, which was still where I’d left it, and a very welcome bench. How anyone manages to survive Edinburgh in August I will never know.
Fortunately, after five bikeless days in strange lands we will be back home tomorrow, and I will know never to leave my Brompton behind ever again…