July 26, 2005

Lisa: UK trip, day 12

On Wednesday morning, we had a great breakfast at Dunedin House again before taking the city buses to Ocean Terminal to see the royal ship Brittania. We looked around the small museum, and then Molly and I toured the boat itself.

It was really neat to see the royal quarters,

(drawing room)

as well as the kitchen, laundry, and other more 'behind the scenes' areas on board. Everything was so compact, but organized and shining clean!

Afterward, we collected Blake (who had been reading on a couch while we were on the boat) and took the bus back to Princes Street. Our first stop there was the National Gallery of Scotland, which was great. It wasnít too big--the perfect size for an art museum, really--and there were a lot of wonderful paintings there.

We grabbed some takeway lunch at Marks and Spencer, and ate lunch on a bench in Princes Street Gardens. Our next scheduled stop was the Museum of Scotland, near the top of the Royal Mile but a few streets over on the opposite side from the gardens. Before we headed there, though, Blake wanted to stop at a whisky shop on an errand for a friend of his at work--and the good whisky shop was near the bottom of the Royal Mile. By the time we got back up to the museum, we were all pretty tired. In our Rick Steves guidebook, the museum got a rave review, and (to be fair) it looked like they had some amazing things there. However, we were a bit frustrated with the layout of the museum, which didnít really lend itself well to a single path that takes you past all the artifacts, as well as with the confusing and non-linear audioguide. We decided we were just too tired to appreciate it, so we headed back to Dunedin House for a nap.

It was still quite light when we got up and headed back out, so we decided to ride the bus over to New Town to try to find a cool-looking cemetery we had seen over the rooftops from the Royal Mile.

When we got off the bus, Molly walked us basically right to it (yay!) and it turned out to be really interesting.

(sign outside)

(The obelisk is for some guys who were influential in creating the Scottish parliament, if I remember correctly.)

(the base of the obelisk)

(Those turrets you can see in the background are next door on the property of the governor's residence.)

Among the old-fashioned headstones and vaults was David Hume's grave

(Blake with his buddy Hume)

and a monument to Scottish-American soldiers who died in the American Civil War.

(Yeah, that's Abraham Lincoln up there.)

From the cemetery we could see some other monuments up on a hill,

(That's the City Observatory that you can see.)

so we walked over to check it out. It turned out to be a monument for Admiral Lord Nelson, the City Observatory, and a sort of neo-Classical collonade of pillars that I couldn't discover the significance of.

It was a fun place to walk around, though.

(I told Molly and Blake to strike a saucy pose, and this was the best they could do.)

(looking back down over the city from the observatory)

For dinner, we headed back to an Indian place we had seen on the Royal Mile, which was tasty but crowded, and then returned to Dunedin House to repack and go to bed for the night.


Posted by lisa at July 26, 2005 09:55 AM
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