Edinburgh --- the day I lost track of time in a museum...

Edinburgh Travel Blog

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The Royal Mile, at the top by Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh -- the day we were supposed to get an early start, and didn't. It was also the day I was supposed to meet my friend Mark from Aberdeen, and because of the late start, it didn't happen, and I'm pretty sorry about that :(

This day was also a pretty rough one. It started in tears, alone, of course, because I was beginning to realize the length and breadth of just how much I like being in my own surroundings when I want to be, and how hard it was to be around other people for great lengths of time without being able to be in my own space. And how hard it was to be in a culture that was not so much different from mine, but just enough to make me feel a bit off. The jet lag didn't help either. I think, perhaps, that every single traveler must feel like this at some time.
Robbie Burns sign on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh
For me, it came now because I haven't BEEN in anywhere in so long. Once released, though, the tears seemed to clear the way to calm, and I've had a much better time of it so far.

This was also the day I started to feel normal again. Damn jet lag all to hell anyway! Caroline and I hopped the train at Uphall station, and zipped off into Edinburgh, arriving just before noon. We wandered up to the High Street (the Royal Mile), and then, as Caroline hadn't seen it, went to the Museum of Scotland. If you've never been, and find yourself in Edinburgh -- GO! I cannot stress this enough. We wandered through many exhibits on the history of Scotland for almost 2 hours, before Caroline had to leave me to head back home and go to work.
The Scottish Parliament building which went waaaaay over budget, and is considered, by some, a bit of an eyesore.
I then spent another THREE hours in there, without noticing time go by! In fact, one of the security guards had to remind me that the museum had closed at 5 and kicked me out. Every aspect of history and culture in Scotland is covered there, and there's more than enough there for everyone. I particularly enjoyed the Highlands special exhibit (2007 is the year celebrating Highlander culture, etc.), the bits on the Jacobite Rebellion, and the history of medicine in Scotland. I STILL didn't get to see quite everything, and may have to go back to finish the last floor or so sometime this week.

I was a bit chagrined at having spent so much time in the museum when there was so much more to see, however, as those tardy ones of us poured back out onto the street with the museum doors closing behind us.
Our Dynamic Earth exhibit, Edinburgh
The day was absolutely gorgeous, however, and there was still so much more to see! Caroline was working a closing shift (til 3am) and Ronnie was busy with friends, so I took advantage of the alone time, and went off exploring, after finding myself a Starbucks, to pep my energy up. Unfortunately, with being ferreted in the museum all day, I missed the chance to see the castle, or do any shopping on Princes Street. I wandered up and down the Royal Mile, peeping into some of the touristy shops, trying to find a sweater for Lisa that she'd made a special request for. I found it, but didn't end up buying it just yet, because I didn't feel like carrying it around. Eventually, I found myself crossing the North Bridge and over to Princes Street, when I saw the double-decker bus go by, the same company I'd used in Glasgow.
Edinburgh
Figuring what the hell, I jumped on, and took a tour of the city. Again, touristy, but these things are great to just get the lay of the land!! It was neat to see some of the things I probably wouldn't have time for like Holyrood Palace, the Parliament buildings, etc.  Some guy ended up beaking off cheekily to me from down below, and I blew him a kiss! Hahah.

Got off the bus at the end of the tour, and wandered into Princes Street park, where there was a free concert going on! For some reason, forgot to take pictures. Too busy dancing ;) However, at this point, the sun was starting to go down, and I realized I'd better make my way back to Uphall station, because I wasn't quite sure how to get home, and didn't really want to be doing it in the dark! Once back at the station, I called myself a cab, since I -just- missed the bus as it zoomed by me.
St. Giles, Edinburgh Royal Mile
Whoops! The cabbie had me in stitches on the way home though. I told her that back home, cabbies tend not to talk to you much at all in the car, and how refreshing it was! So much nicer than 'Get your ass in my car, tell me where you want me to go, and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out'.

Of the two big cities here in the central belt, I have to say that Edinburgh wins out. I liked Glasgow a lot -- and felt that it got a bad rep from others who talked about it with me. But Edinburgh.... oh, Edinburgh is beautiful, and it felt like home. In fact, if I had to compare them to cities at home, Glasgow reminded me of Toronto (though a little of Seattle, too. Though I have to say that the subway stations stank like Toronto's. I have memories of Eglinton West that will never leave me), but Edinburgh has the laid-back feel of Victoria and to a lesser degree, Vancouver. I could totally see myself living here. I had planned to go back to Glasgow this week, but I think I'll go visit Edinburgh more, instead!!
sdbleve says:
You sound like you really enjoyed Edingburg. I thought it was a lovely city, but did not get a chance to really explore it. My kids kind of hampered that. I am trying to figure out a way to return. Maybe during the New Years Eve festival.
Posted on: Jul 20, 2007
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The Royal Mile, at the top by Edin…
The Royal Mile, at the top by Edi…
Robbie Burns sign on the Royal Mil…
Robbie Burns sign on the Royal Mi…
The Scottish Parliament building w…
The Scottish Parliament building …
Our Dynamic Earth exhibit, Edinbur…
Our Dynamic Earth exhibit, Edinbu…
Edinburgh
Edinburgh
St. Giles, Edinburgh Royal Mile
St. Giles, Edinburgh Royal Mile
The Royal Mile, Edinburgh
The Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Shot of the Royal Mile from Prince…
Shot of the Royal Mile from Princ…
Princes Street Gardens, from Waver…
Princes Street Gardens, from Wave…
Princes Street Gardens and Nationa…
Princes Street Gardens and Nation…
Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Piper on the corner of Waverly Bri…
Piper on the corner of Waverly Br…
Moi, atop the City bus tour bus!
Moi, atop the City bus tour bus!
Edinburgh
photo by: vances