Friday, April 20, 2007

The Lowland Diary, Day 6 (Final edition!)

Greetings, and welcome to what will most likely be the final edition of the Lowland Diary. I'm flying home tomorrow morning, so all that's really left is dinner, packing of the suitcases and another O.J.-esque sprint through Heathrow Airport in the morning.

Today was museum day, and once again there's a distinct lack of pictures. After all, you're really not supposed to photograph those ancient paintings, lest they fade.

First stop was actually the "Museum on the Mound," the museum of the HBOS Bank (Halifax/Bank of Scotland). Lots of money, and a safe I couldn't crack despite my locksmithing expertise. (You were supposed to pick answers to trivia questions that gave up the code, but I couldn't find them anywhere.) Although blatantly a promotional thing for the bank, it was still pretty cool, with several hands-on displays and lots of real and fake money and stuff.

Then it was on to the National Gallery of Scotland, part of several national galleries in the Edinburgh region. This one is an art museum, with Impressionists and much more. Names like Van Gogh, Degas, Titian - no, I'm not linking them all; maybe later - and a special exhibition on Scottish artists that may have been the coolest part of all.

There were a pair of paintings by Joseph Noel Paton featuring Oberon and Titania from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and a painting of the murder of Rizzio, which took place at Holyroodhouse, which I saw the other day.

After that, we went to the National Portrait Gallery, which, as my father put it, is much more interesting than it sounds.

There are busts and portraits of all kinds of figures, from hundreds-of-year-old paintings to modern photographs. Unfortunately, the section of 20th-century portraits was closed (they're installing a new exhibition), but there was a special exhibit on Scotland's entrepreneurs.

Plus, the main lobby itself had a very cool frieze wrapping around the balcony featuring just about all of Scotland's historical figures (Mary, Queen of Scots; Robert the Bruce; Robert Burns; etc.) up to the time it was created.

The building itself is really a standout, and it was built for the purpose of housing the gallery. Well worth the visit, even if it underwhelmed in spots, and there are only so many pictures of generic Scottish noblemen you can see in one day.

I should mention, the morning was devoted to shopping. I found two reviews of the Arctic Monkeys' new album,but it's not out until next week.

On the other hand, I found something very pretty for Marisa, and on sale, too. (Don't look, hon, unless you want to ruin the surprise!)

And two rugby shirts for myself, also on sale, no less.

Plus, I made it out of a wonderful comic/toy store without spending two pence. I could've probably spent 500 pounds there. So many toys. So neat-o. But I was strong.

And I avoided the eggs at breakfast again. So it was a success all around.

The crystal ball says:
• Rest my aching back a bit.
• Dinner with the folks.
• Back to the hotel to pack.
• Finish my book.
• Sleep.
• Get up early and take a cab to the airport.
• Flight from Edinburgh to Heathrow.
• Run like hell to make my connection (or spend the night in the airport).
• Flight from Heathrow to Newark.
• And home with Marisa to readjust to U.S. time.

So don't expect any further bulletins from Scotland, unless events warrant.

We (that's the "royal 'we'") will resume our regularly (un)scheduled blogging sometime next week. Plus update the diary with "next" links, add it to the "special projects" section, and stuff like that.

Thanks for reading. Hope you've enjoyed the diary as much as I've enjoyed the trip. And if you see my parents after they get back, be sure and wish them a happy 40th anniversary.


Jewels said...

It sounds like you had a good time on your trip. I'd love to visit Scotland, my dad's dad was Scottish.

I expected to see more rolling hills and such in your pics. Too bad you couldn't photo the halls and closes, and galleries. I like photos. :(


Good luck readjusting to the time zone. I'm sure Marisa will be happy to rest with you :o *Giggle*

Stewie said...

Once again, excellent breakdown, sir!