Alexander McCall Smith – your perfect guide to Edinburgh and Gaborone

Take a tour of Edinburgh and  Gaboronne with your guide Alexander McCall Smith
Take a tour of Edinburgh and Gaborone with your guide Alexander McCall Smith
Alexander McCall Smith
The man himself – Alexander McCall Smith

Join McCall Smith and Good Housekeeping magazine and meet the man who introduced us to Precious of Kgale Hill, Gaborone, Botswana and Bertie of Edinburgh

If you ever fancy travelling to Edinburgh or Gaborone, Botswana then you could wish for no better guide than Mr Alexander McCall Smith. this is a man who has not only lived in both places but who has a deep affection for them and the people there that this emotion comes flooding from each and ever page of his books.

Today he is appearing on the Good Housekeeping magazine Twitter account – a takeover of epic proportions, where he will be answering questions. We’ve sent a few already so why not take your chance now –

@GHmagazine

Allow us to remind you of the place and the things we have seen as we walk in the footsteps of Mr McCall Smith on this very special #Booktravel excursion!

Itinerary of the McCall Smith Tour –  part one Edinburgh

Scotland Street - where it all happens Drummond Place Bertie and his mum are spotted walking along here Dundas Street The home of the Art gallery and Big Lou's Morningside Road - where they go in the search of the Peploe painting only to discover that a certain Ian Rankin has bought it!
Scotland Street – where it all happens
Drummond Place
Bertie and his mum are spotted walking along here
Dundas Street
The home of the Art gallery and Big Lou’s
Morningside Road – where they go in the search of the painting only to discover that a certain Ian Rankin has bought it!

Although Scotland Street is real and can indeed be visited (as we did) no.44 not surprisingly is fictional due to the risk of people, readers etc knocking on the door.

The corner of Scotland Street - 44 would be where the trees are.
The corner of Scotland Street – 44 would be where the trees are.

The street was on the edge of the Bohemian part of the Edinburgh New Town, the part where lawyers and accountants were outnumbered – just – by others.

Ah here we are
Ah here we are

Still, to visit Scotland Street for real is to walk in the footsteps of Irene, Bruce, Pat and of course Bertie and his mum

“That’s where young Bertie lives. you will have heard him playing the saxophone last night I presume..”

Oh the places to visit and the places to linger –

Inside the literary haven that is Big Lou's  on Dundas Street
Inside the literary haven that is ‘Big Lou’s’ on Dundas Street
The inspiration for the Something Special Art Gallery - Dundas Street
The inspiration for the Something Special Art Gallery – Dundas Street
Is that Bertie there with his mum?
Is that Bertie there with his mum?

Itinerary of the McCall Smith Tour –  part two Botswana

Gaboronne Twoklong Road where Speedy Motors is Kgale Hill where the detective agency is
Gaborone
Twoklong Road where Speedy Motors is
Kgale Hill where the detective agency is

Travel to Africa with us – to the bottom of the Kgale Hill to be more precise to visit some of the nicest and friendliest people you will ever meet.

Precious Ramotswe is the only female private detective in Botswana. Her agency – the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – is the best in the country. And the most scenic –

To the front, an acacia tree, the thorn tree which dots the wide edges of the Kalahari: the great white thorns, a warning; the olive-grey leaves, by contrast, so delicate.

The warmth of the stories not only comes from the stunning landscape but the love that both McCall Smith and Precious Ramotswe has for this land –

I love all the people whom God made, but I especially know how to love the people who live in this place. They are my people, my brothers and sisters. it is my duty to help them to solve the  mysteries in their lives. That is what I am called to do.

The view from Kgale Hill - pic from Wikipedia
The view from Kgale Hill – pic from Wikipedia

This is warm hearted fiction – a detective series set on the edge of the Kalahari desert which presents Botswana and its people in a very warm and inviting light.  Precious is a character who will stay with you for ever – she does not suffer fools, is confident full of common sense and keeps the men in their place.

Very very funny

Follow the conversation today via @GHmagazine from 12.30 UK Time

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