Rio Recommends: Union Canal, Fountainbridge and Akva bar and restaurant
Hey, dog lovers! I found a place with a good vibe for us dog people with a nice canal walk to follow
Jeez, the graffiti boys have barely left any space on the walls untouched (and there are some familiar names here), but it’s handy for nipping across to the cafes at this end of the canal.
Pa asked the young man at the Swedish bar and cafe, Akva, if he’d let me in. He said what we all like to hear: “We love dogs.” So we went in.
Akva describes itself as having a “lively vibe” which suits me as I kinda like places with a vibe, as long as the people doing the vibing don’t step on me, because I’m very tiny and not easy to see when people are crowding around and jigging about.
Anyway, Akva is a spacious place on two floors and we settled in a corner by the door where there were a couple of couches and armchairs and I could avoid being stepped on. I shouldn’t have worried too much as the waiting staff couldn’t do enough for me. I was brought a big bowl of water (good service!) and they fussed over my ears (yeah, they’re real big. Good for picking up the vibes, eh?).
Two fresh croissants with melted butter and some delicious jam were enough to keep Pa and Ma quiet while I delved into a box of biscuits brought from home, and lapped up the fresh water.
This is a cool sort of place, obviously popular with folk who like to do stuff, given the number of posters for gigs and comedy shows. It was fairly busy with people enjoying meals and reading the papers, though some were pointing at me and smiling. I guess they also want to stroke my ears, unless they were laughing at Pa in his woolly hat.
Anyway, we had some walking to do. “Come back, soon,” said the waitress who kept calling me cute and cooing. Okay, I thought, we may well be back if you keep saying sweet things!
We set off on a slow stroll along the canal which is now a popular walking and cycling route connecting the west end with Morningside, Polwarth, Slateford, Colinton and out to Ratho, though maybe some of those cyclists should slow down a bit. They were whizzing by at a bit of a clip. This is not a velodrome, guys!
An urgent repair is needed on one bridge and, alas, more graffiti on the walls and bridges spoils what ought to be a pleasant outlook for the impressive new apartments whose residents deserve better.
There are good bits, though, and Pa said it reminded him of Amsterdam. Not sure what he meant. Maybe he could smell dope, or something.
Aside from that, the barges looked pretty and there were lots of ducks and other birds to chase, including a huge swan!
I liked this walk with its pleasant changes of outlook and easy access. It can only get better once the undeveloped land is built on, and someone cleans up the walls and bridges! Must get Pa to tell me more about Amsterdam.
Akva, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh (4/5)
Walk from Fountainbridge to Slateford and back (3/5)
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