Saturday, November 14, 2009

DAY THREE: Edinburgh Castle

Narrator: Emerson Cod, private investigator, made a business of murder. But before he could get down to business . . .

“I feel like ice cream.” – Emerson Cod (Pushing Daisies S1 E3)

22 October 2009

The third day of our trip in Scotland was probably the best. When we left our hotel room the sun was shining in Edinburgh. Yes—shining. I hadn’t been able to get money out of the bank because my bank freezes my account every 30 days, so I called to get it cleared up and they told me to wait two days and this was the day to attempt withdrawing money. Like I said, the sun was shining. I was able to withdraw money and pay off my debts to Julene and Jackie.

Afterwards we walked toward Edinburgh castle and stopped at the Scottish National Gallery where I saw one of John Singer Sergeant’s most famous pieces, pieces by Van Gogh, Money, Van Dyke, Gainsborough, Rubens, Lorraine, Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Boucher—I know most of those names may mean nothing to you, but I’d just studied them in my Humanities classes, and I loved learning about those artworks and then seeing their work in a gallery and thinking, ‘That looks like a Van Dyke,’ looking at the plaque and being RIGHT. Jackie and I toured the place as fast as we could, getting pretty excited about what we saw after every corner we turned.

We then left for the Castle but the admission was £12. No one wanted to go in but me, so I convinced Jackie we would regret it if we didn’t, and she convinced Julene—so we went in after much deliberation. Needless to say, it was VERY worth it, and we didn’t regret it.

We saw the 1 o’clock gun go off, we walked into St. Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh, we looked through the church-like war memorial building, saw the Scottish crown jewels, including THE stone Scottish and English monarchs have been crowned on for centuries (the English since 1305, the Scottish even before that), and then we saw the prison barracks where they held American prisoners of war (treated as pirates) during the war for Independence. One of the American men carved ‘Lord Nord’ next to a carving of a man hanging from the gallows on one of the prison doors. Lord North was the prime minister who imposed the tea tax. I got a nice laugh out of it, though neither Julene o Jackie found it quite as funny.

Not to forget: we saw the grounds of Edinburgh Castle, and the view of Edinburgh from the top of the hill.

(War Memorial)

We left the Castle around 3pm and walked down the better-half of the Royal Mile, ate at Quizno’s and when to ‘Chocolate Soup’ for a hot chocolate. We did some shopping, watched and American street performer, and walked back to our hotel the long way.

Jackie and I went in search of ice cream before watching Braveheart to get in the Scottish-pride spirit. All was great from there on out.

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