No, not a particularly cold day in Edinburgh, but a fabulous ice sculpture exhibition on George Street that we visited a few days ago. This icy adventure was part of the Christmas happenings in town. I must say it was especially satisfying as I got a 20 % reduction as an Edinburgh resident. Score!
The sculptures were not exposed at the vagaries of weather, but were housed in a special barrack that was kept at a chilly – 10 °C. It was very very cold. Finland used to have winters this cold when I was young, and I recall one morning walking the 1 km distance to work from a bus stop in – 24 °C temperatures, but this was the first time in years that I had been exposed to such temperatures. Of course we were properly dressed, but the half an hour or so that I took us to admire the ice sculptures really tested my fortitude and my wool coat’s insulating properties.
The sculptures exhibited specificically Scottish things. The exhibit was arranged cleverly, with a winding path that exposed only a few of the sculptures at a time. It’s hard to say which we liked most. The fairies with delicate wings? The group of vikings? Or the dragon / Nessie emerging from the frigid floor? Possibly the last.
There was also two of the Firth of Forth bridges, duelling bucks, Robert the Bruce, a bag piper, a Celtic cross and Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton who I encountered on a leadership course a hundred years ago (and whose first name just now I could have sworn was Mark). He was actually Irish, rather than a Scot, as one might have guessed from his inclusion in the exhibition.
Toward the end of the exhibition there was also an ice bar that served hot drinks but we opted to have something hot to drink elsewhere. And when we left, the chilly + 10 °C outside weather felt pleasantly balmy.