How the delights of old Edinburgh slowly revealed themselves
Edinburgh. Birthplace of Sir Walter Scott and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Venice of the North. Home of Arthur's Seat. Venue for the world's biggest theatre festival. And host city of a certain little rugby match in a couple of weeks' time.
My first visit there seems now to belong to a different age. I was 20 years old and working on the sports desk of this newspaper while studying for a BA at UCD.
My job gave me a pecuniary advantage over my fellow students (temporary, I must add, for they have all overtaken me since) and a trip to Scotland to see Ireland at Murrayfield was within my budget. I arranged to stay with a friend who was studying at the city's botanical gardens. We were to meet at Waverly Station, so named after the novels of hometown hero Sir Walter.