I love Edinburgh. It has been my home now for just over a year and despite spending 7 years in Aberdeen, I already feel more at home here than I ever did there. This is not to say that I disliked Aberdeen (unlike many of my counterparts who the mere mention of the Granit City causes a violent reaction) it’s just I feel the ’burgh feels more like home with it’s little coffee shops, mountains of book shops and green open spaces. Oh yeah and all the culture. However this is not to say my new home city does not have it faults. The main one being the traffic.
Driving in Edinburgh is like riding a panicky ridden horse being chased by snakes. It is nigh impossible to circumnavigate the streets due to high volume of one way streets, buses, omni-present cyclists and kamikaze taxi drivers tooting furiously at you if you even think about hesitating before launching onto a round about. However you’d think after living here for over a year, being both a driver and a regular public bus user, I would have become accustomed to the labyrinith of the city.
But no. Because of the beast know as the Tram Works. For over 2 years the tram works have like a plague upon the city. The idea of the trams pleases me. Two tram lines running from Morningside across the city centre and another from the airport to Leith, little quiet tin boxes ferrying people to and fro with large windows so to gaze upon the beauty of the surroundings. What a great way to link the parts of the city especially when driving and parking is such a bitch. Except the works were meant to be finished January past and still what do we have to show for it? Tram lines on Princes Street. Where do they go? Nowhere because there are no more tracks anywhere else! Instead there is ever present and ever changing road works and road restrictions. The changed with such speed that once quite laterally as my old landlady wife was driving round a-round-about, the lanes on the roundabout changed and she ended up in the wrong lane despite starting in the correct one! Quite recently my new wife became lost driving back from the West side of town and phoned for directions. With trepidation I gave them but with the road alternations happening so fast and furiously I was not confident in my advice and it took the poor girl almost 2 hours to get home being stuck in a loop of right only turns.
Now they say it’ll be 2015 until the single tram line is finished as now the 2nd line to Morningside is scrapped due to financial restrictions. What the hell are they doing?! There is side street just up the road from me that I have only seen open for about a week in the year I’ve lived here. Why? Because the gas company had to dig up the road and change the pipes. They then filled in the road and re-laid the tarmac. A week later the water company had to change some pipes so dug up said brand new tarmac to lay their new piping and in the midst of re-laying it. What a waste of money in these difficult times.
The air some days due all the drilling and concrete laying is thick and opaque like the mist in some Sherlock Holmes style novel except instead of a fearsome hound coming through the fog, overweight men in fluoresce end jackets plague the streets of Edinburgh.
Grumble, grumble, and grumble.
See I really am sounding like a local now. I dislike Glasgow as the roads there are far too wide and confusing (I mean a motorway running through the city?!), not to mention the exceptionally high population of Neds. I complained bitterly about the amount of tourists during the festival causing an increase in my daily commute and the parking here is just ghastly! Added to that the new students have just descended upon the city and much like the festival tourists don’t seem to realise what pavements are for (FYI they are for walking NOT for standing in large groups on).
Ah, there’s no place like home.