Sunday, June 19, 2011

june 3

Previously: May 31, June 1, June 2

Compared to the previous day, this day was a stroll in the park. Literally.

Before I get to that, I did make a quick stop at the Canongate Kirk (I visited it cemetery earlier). It's a fairly simple church near the Palace. Both the Palace and Castle are part of it's parish. As a result there's a "Royal Pew" bearing the arms of The Queen, Prince Philip, and The Duke of Rothesay (Prince Charles). That's where they sit when they're in residence and - er - go to church. There is also a "Castle Pew" with many coats of arms for those related to the Castle. Mostly this means that the Governor of the Castle uses that pew because he actually resides in the parish. I heard mumblings of there being another royal-family wedding there later in the summer, and that the family - at least the Queen and "the" newlyweds Will & Kate - was supposedly attending. Some great-niece or something 13-times removed. The church-guide ladies were very excited at the prospect. [Update: I found mention of the wedding. Queen's granddaughter.]

And back to my lazy day... I was tired and couldn't muster up the energy to hop on and off of buses or walk miles upon miles to see the edges of Edinburgh. As such, I decided the day would be best spent exploring the area around Princes Street Gardens. [Note: Until my arrival I really thought it was Princess Street Gardens. One "s" changes a lot.] The Royal Mile (aka High Street) is the center of Old Town, while Princes Street, which runs parallel, is the crux of New Town. Between the two, down toward the Castle, are the gardens:

Pretty, no? Apparently during the 19th-century it was a sewage-filled loch. Now it's 37acres of green. Glad to see some improvement. It was an unusually warm day so there were tons of people lounging about. And I happily joined them.

At one end of the park is the Scott Monument, for (shockingly!) Sir Walter Scott:

Gothic much? Apparently you can climb it. But... no. Like I said, this day was for laying in grass and meandering around galleries. To accomplish the latter I went to the National Gallery of Scotland. Nothing of particular note, but nice enough. I then went to the Fruitmarket Gallery which houses more contemporary art. I really enjoyed their Narcissus Reflected exhibit, where I saw some Salvador Dali, among others. It was perplexing. Well done.

Sorry, but those are all of the pictures for the day.

Up next: Train travel and settling in to London.

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