igor termenon's edinburgh
If you turn up in Edinburgh expecting a city full of haggis and kilts, you might be a tad confused.
If you turn up in Edinburgh expecting a city full of haggis and kilts, you might be a tad confused. As Spanish photographer Igor Termenon discovered on moving to the Scottish capital, there's a whole lot more to it than those age-old traditions, and with fresh eyes and a snap-happy camera, we thought him the ideal person to show us around his new-found home.
Firstly, please tell us a little bit about the neighbourhood that you live in. I live in The Shore, a neighbourhood located just by the sea in Edinburgh. I like it here because despite other areas of Edinburgh there are not that many tourists around. There's a canal that leads to the sea, which is really nice, especially during the spring and summer months. There are also some great restaurants around and people from other areas of the city tend to come here for drinks and food during the weekends. There aren't many shops in The Shore but the city centre is just 20 minutes away by bus.
What kind of house/apartment do you live in? Is it typical of the architecture in that area? I live in a flat in a 3-storey building. It is the typical Edinburgh sandstone old building which can be found all around the city, especially in the New Town and Leith areas.
What kind of stereotype has Edinburgh earned, and how is it different to what people expect? Edinburgh is mainly a tourist city. The Old Town is the area of the city which is always crowded with tourists and they don't seem to explore anything outside this "comfort zone". There is so much more outside this area and I would invite people to discover other areas of the city such as Stockbridge and especially Leith, which can seem rough but it's so much fun!
The main stereotypes might be kilts and the accent. If you're coming to Edinburgh don't expect men to wear kilts that often and also don't think that everyone has a really strong Scottish accent – I've lived in Glasgow and I can guarantee that the Glaswegian accent has anything to do to the one you can hear in Edinburgh!
How is your city changing? I've been living in Edinburgh for almost three years now and the creative scene in the city seems to be growing. Glasgow has always been the music/arts centre in Scotland but there are now lots of people doing also interesting things here in Edinburgh.
What album do you think would be the best soundtrack for walking around? I'd say Rip It Up by Orange Juice, they were from Glasgow but I think their music would work really well for walking around some areas in Edinburgh, especially on a sunny summer day.
If you had a day to take an Australian around your town on a Sunday afternoon, what would you do? We would probably start the day in Arthur's Seat – a group of hills in the middle of the city. It is probably one of my favourite places in Edinburgh – when you're on the top you can see the whole city and when you're at the base you're completely surrounded by the hills and it seems like you're in the Scottish Highlands even though the city is just 5 min away walking.
After that, we would probably go and get lunch somewhere in Stockbridge. There are some really nice pubs and also some cool fashion and record shops. We would finish the day in my neighbourhood, having some beers by the canal and in the bars around the area.
What is the local creative community like? Are there predominant local crafts? As mentioned before, the creative community in Edinburgh is growing. There are more events happening where you can meet other creatives based in the city and there's also lots of creative businesses emerging. People in Edinburgh really like small independent design/art shops and you can find several across the city, but especially in the Broughton and Stockbridge areas. They're great places to discover local artists.
How does your city change with the seasons? How has this influenced your work? When you live in Edinburgh you tend to say that it is winter the whole time! It is not 100% true but we don't normally enjoy proper different seasons as in other cities. Summer is a great time in Edinburgh because you get day light from around 3 or 4 in the morning until even 11 at night. You feel more active and there's also more things to do although it also means more tourists, traffic jams, etc. Winter can be a little depressing in Scotland if you're not used to rain and dark days – when you have a full-time job, most times you only get to enjoy the day light during the weekends.
Tell us about the spaces and places you have photographed for us. I have photographed a little bit of everything in the city. There are some photos of the city centre, a few of Arthur's Seat, the typical architecture and also some moments with friends.
Where is the best place to have a picnic? Edinburgh is full of parks and green areas. Any of the less popular ones is a great place for a picnic.
Where is the best place to see a gig? I usually travel to Glasgow to see bands playing live but Sneaky Pete's is nice for small gigs.
Where is the best place to get a drink? There are many but I really like Bramble because it is quite hidden and once you're inside there's no windows so you could really be anywhere in the world. Panda & Sons is quite new and is nice as well – it is inspired in speakeasies and the outside of the bar looks like a barber shop.
Where is the best place to buy something vintage? There are many well-known vintage shops in Edinburgh but the best places to find some real gems are charity shops. They are all around the city and if you're lucky you can take a bargain home.