The Bridge

He explored the city whenever he could; walking, taking buses, climbing hills and descending steps, always watching and looking, surveying the stones and layout and architecture of the place with all the possessive glee of a new laird inspecting his lands. He stood on that stark volcanic remnant, eyes slitted against a North-Sea wind, and looked out over the swept spaces of the city; he forced his way through the thrown sheets of stinging rain walking the old docks and the coastal esplanade, he meandered through the jumbled erratics of the Old, he strode the clean geometry of the New, he wandered through the quiet fog under the Dean Bridge and discovered the village within the city in its not-yet-quaint decrepitude, and he strolled along the famous bustling street on sunlit shopping Saturdays, just grinning at the rock-rooted castle and its royal train of colleges and offices, an encrusted battlement of buildings along the basalt spine of the hill.

Ian Banks, Abacus 2013 (Original release: Macmillan London Limited 1986)

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