Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday, August 25th, Edinburgh


Walking down the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Festival makes you want to start swinging a sword.  Are there any more uncompromising tourists anywhere?  With Pat on my arm, I felt like a slalom skier bending around the oncoming pedestrians.  After a while, you feel like asserting your right to passage.

No pictures today.  It looked like rain all day, and we scheduled indoor venues where they don’t allow them.  Then it cleared up, but I had left it home.  It was just as well.  I would have swung it.

We visited the Writer’s Museum, a tribute to Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson.  All have statues in the city, with Scott’s being a huge tower featuring him and his dog at the base.  Stevenson and Burns get a great relief and a stained glass window in St Giles Church.  But you could not find a Scotsman who wouldn’t be able to tell you what they wrote, and perhaps quote a few lines.  Can you?

We walked around in the Georgian House.  Think Dowton Abbey comes to town to hold parties to demonstrate their status, and strategically recruit husbands for their daughters.  Wait, wasn’t that what they were doing also out in their country estate? 

We listened to the Scottish Young Peoples Choir practicing in St. Giles Church for a concert tonight.  One of the largest organs in Europe being overwhelmed by sixty of the loudest youngsters on the planet. 

And in the back of the church was the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle.  Member names from 1604 are carved on the entry room wall, and family crests occupy seats inside the Chapel.  This is the only heraldric order in Great Britain, and nomination is by King and Queen only.  If you believe that Charles W. Marr, of Limerick, York, Maine is the son of Denis Marr, of Scarborough, Cumberland, Maine, two members of my family made it in 1706 and 1814. John, Earl of Marr, and Thomas Erskine, of Marr both were honored for their work developing the Scottish judicial system.

Tomorrow, we head south back into England (after seeing Hadrian's Wall) to York.


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