Yesterday, I was overwhelmed by the awesomeness of a garden and a literary pub crawl. However, more happened yesterday than just those great things. My tour up and down the Royal Mile was rewarded with a huge number of pictures in a wide variety.
My day started with the usual bagpiper parked outside my hall. He stands there and plays and people get photos and he plays and it rains and he plays and the sun comes back out… and he plays.
This is a statue of David Hume. I learned the other night that he wanted some very important position at the Uni of Edinburgh and they turned him down. Now they have a massive (ugly) tower built in his name and statues and other memorabilia.
Yeah, they feel bad about it, apparently.
Anyway, this is a big old statue in which he is dressed completely not how he would have been dressed in order to appear impressive and rather like Moses (ironic considering his views on religion). And his gigantical big toe sticks out at just the right level to be rubbed for good luck, which is why it is shiny and bronze coloured. I’m sure he would appreciate the gesture…
(Nap feels like he is a lot more impressive than this silly man in the bedsheet…)
It has been suggested that Nap might like to see these things he poses in front of. He deigned to turn around briefly to see the statue.
If shrugging were not beneath him, probably would have done so.
It continued to drizzle for a while and I finally got bored enough to step back out into it. And then it lightened and finally stopped altogether. And the sun came back out!
Down one long passage there was this guy who I found to be incredibly creepy…
It did not make me want to buy a kilt… because of course I really wanted to up until now.
And then I discovered that Scotland had stolen the Washington Monument! Clearly, we had it first so this is quite shocking of them.
Also notice the “Tempting Tattie” shop in the bottom corner. Tatties are potatoes, and yes the bistro basically sells a variety of forms of potato.
You can see the Sir Walter Scott memorial on the horizon. It is apparently the largest monument ever built for a literary character. That is according to our tour guide the other night. I haven’t checked to see if he was telling the truth or not, though I would believe it. That thing is huge!
Oh, the guide mentioned that Mark Twain hated Scott and blamed him for the American Civil War. When he was in Edinburgh, he probably would have walked past the monument several times. I wonder what he thought of that…
See that woman with the umbrella? That’s because it was raining, despite the sunny looking sky.
Later on, I passed by a church with a lovely looking graveyard (that doesn’t sound possible, but it is…) so of course, I stopped.
This guy is a famous poet whose name I completely forgot, despite reading the plaque in his honor and searching for the gravestone that bears his name in the graveyard. He looked quite chipper as a statue, though.
Walking around graveyards is pleasant simply because it’s quiet as well as cool in a creepy sort of way. It’s even creepier now in a way because of what our guide said the other night about how graverobbers cleverly sneaked bodies out without leaving any sign, so we have no idea how many of these graves actually have bodies in them.
Surprisingly enough, there weren’t any people around. They seemed to think that they have better things to do in Edinburgh than wander through graveyards.
If anyone has played the N64 Zelda game, you might know what I’m talking about when I say that these graveyards felt like the automatically rainy graveyards in the game. I kind of expected little ghosts with lanterns to float by…
I admit that this is not quite as lovely as the garden, but I still find it pretty and fascinating to read the stones and see when these people lived and who loved them.
I love overgrown walls!
The statue below is of the chimaera being grappled with by Bellerophon (minus the pegasus, alas).
Not long after I left the churchyard, a wedding party started arriving. The men were all in full kilt dress. A bagpiper showed up and started playing. I watched for a bit with a gathering crowd of tourists outside the gates, but I felt like I was intruding so I moved on down the Mile.
Do you see the cliffs of Arthur’s Seat behind the school building? That’s what I’m heading for!
I passed by Holyrood Palace, but didn’t do any touring of the grounds or building. There were some neat places around the walls, though, like this little archway and the building below.
I couldn’t quite crouch down low enough to get the whole front of this building into the shot.
I really, really, really wanted to climb up, but I had already walked a couple miles and had at least one more uphill mile back to my hall, so I postponed it for another day.
But that didn’t keep me from taking pictures of the cliffs!
I passed by the parliament building as I walked back and noticed quotes from famous people inlaid into the side. And, hey, the Bible earned a spot too.
More ivy on a wall! And a cool tower behind it. Never let it be said I missed a photo opportunity.
Okay, I just found this hilarious. Forget the whisky – how much is the doggy in the window? That’s a real dog. I took a video that shows it panting and then finally lying down. I guess he’s the store mascot?
Back up the Mile, passing St Giles’ Cathedral.
This really is a diverse city!
(PS – how many times did you spot Nap? He was obvious in some of them… but not all of them!)