Sunday, April 02, 2006

Heading Up North


It's been a rather brief visit to Edinburgh. It's a great small city, but I'm anxious to get moving. I bought a plane ticket for Krakow, on the eighteenth, which has me on a time limit now. A long time limit, but a time limit nonetheless. So I'll be heading to Stirling this morning.

But as for Edinburgh, it's a lovely little city. One thing that has surprised me is the quality of the museums. The National Gallery has a rather impressive collection of paintings from early renaissance to impressionism. It includes paintings from two of my favorite artists, El Greco, and John Singer Sargent, as well as some other fantastic works.

The Museum of Scotland and the Royal Museum (they are combined) is another impressive set of exhibits. The Museum of Scotland contains exhibits relating to the history of Scotland, from prehistoric times to the nineteenth century. All exhibits excellently displayed with superbly written labels. The Royal Museum houses collections of both global sculpture (Egyptian, Japanese, etc), as well as scientific exhibits. Maybe it's this new interest in music that I've developed of the last five years, but the exhibit of historical phonographs was damned interesting.

The last two days were also on-again-off-again sunny. This made for excellent walking in the local park. The park includes a small hilltop peak named Artur's Seat. I would have missed it actually, if I hadn't walked around the other large hill that was closer to the city. The hill provided some great views of the whole city.

The best views of the city were back at the Museum of Scotland. The rooftop terrace, which is actually not that easy to find, has some excellent in-city views of Edinburgh castle, the University and all of the Royal Mile. It was an exceptionally clear day, as well. By the look of it, the last one that I'll see for a while.

Edinburgh, given it's size, is a very manageable city on foot. I'm always surprised that everything seems much closer than it appears on the map. It makes for some rather easy walking from sight to sight. Plus given how centrally located the hostel is, it easy to come in for a sit and a coffee. Sure that makes me sound a bit like an old man, but, well, really.

As for seeming a bit like an old man, I have been going out for a pint at the pubs. There is a vast selection of pubs right off of the Royal Mile. Given how touristy the street is, you'd think that the pubs would be filled with foreigners of all stripes. It turns out that this is one of the bar areas. There are locals abound at the pubs. The pub life is quite a bit more my speed than the club life in Buenos Aires.

But back to the old man bit. I haven't been able to stay out much past eleven. Perhaps I should blame it on the jet lag, really.

1 comment:

knobboy said...

Hey mon, my dad was born in Airdrie. Even though he came over in the late-20s (he was like 3 years old), I bet there are still some shirt-tail relatives moping about!!

And as for this old man business?


Next, you'll be complaining about gray hairs.