There are two major reasons for traveling to Edinburgh in early May rather than any other time of the year: (1) the weather is usually fair at this time; and (2) that’s when the cherry trees in front of the Canongate Kirk on the Royal Mile are in bloom!
Click on any photo to see a larger version of that photo.
The Canongate Kirk stands near the bottom of the Royal Mile on Canongate. The church was completed in 1691 and is an active Church of Scotland congregation. The Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament are within the Canongate parish borders. In 1952 Queen Elizabeth planted a cherry tree in front of the church. I’m not sure if it’s the one I photographed or not.
Canongate gets its name from the Holyrood Abbey that was founded in 1128 by King David I but stands in ruins today adjacent to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The clerics of the abbey were called canons and the road they took to the abbey at the bottom of what is now the Royal Mile was called Canongate from the Scottish “gait” meaning “way.” Canongate was until the middle of the 19th century its own community. In 1856 it was incorporated into the city of Edinburgh.
There are many famous persons buried in the Canongate churchyard including the economist Adam Smith and Agnes Maclehose, the person known as Clarinda in the love letters of Robert Burns. The poet Robert Fergusson (1750-1774) is also buried here and in the above photo is his bronze statue sculpted by David Annand. Robert Burns contributed the following poem for his friend Fergusson’s tombstone:
No sculpturd Marble here nor pompous lay
No storied Urn nor animated Bust
This simple Stone directs Pale Scotia’s way
To pour her Sorrows o’er her Poets Dust
I processed the previous photo in Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro. Then I made a copy and went to Color Efex Pro again for just one more step: a vignette blur that keeps only the center portion of the photo in focus. Which picture do you like best?