Notes From The Road: Walk

by Randy Murray on August 27, 2012

Even two weeks after our trip to Edinburgh my mind is still buzzing with the things we did and saw. Although I’m rested and back to work and at my typical schedule, a part of me is still back there, walking the cobblestone streets of that ancient city.

Walking in a new place, when this is possible (do not attempt in Los Angeles), helps you to connect with and become a part of the new place you’re visiting. It’s very difficult to understand how a place works by zipping around in a taxi or car. Walking literally puts you in touch with the place, grounds you. You begin to understand the spaces, the relationships, the distances.

After a few days walking about Edinburgh I began to see that it’s geographically really quite a small town, compact. Yes, the buses make it very easy to get around and late at night a taxi is welcome to whisk us home, but I really didn’t begin to understand the place until I had walked up and down the hill, made wrong turns, and felt the street beneath my feet.

For this trip I bought a new pair of shoes that were really more like moccasins. The soles were thin and I could feel the street. I felt more stable on the sometimes wet pavement, knew where the stones and cracks were.

I also noted that for me that 55 degrees fahrenheit (around 13 C) is the perfect temperature for walking about a city. 70 is pleasant for sitting, but too warm when you’re exerting yourself with a brisk walk.

Walk the new territory. Then sit and see where you’ve been. The walk will stay with you when you return home.

Notes From The Road: Walk by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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