Saturday, October 17, 2009

At the end of the day sometimes it hard to recognize how quickly the time passed by. And what did we do with these precious hours? Yesterday we walked for hours in the Royal Botanic Garden here in Edinburgh and we came away feeling somehow nurtured by this series of gardens, ten greenhouses (called glass houses here), one begun in 1670. I think their claim to fame is having the largest "glass house" in Britain, filled with towering palms.

For me, it was enough to simply walk through one humid zone after another, discovering a beautiful purple and yellow water lily, nearly stepping on a frog, or admiring the sway of Spanish moss, and, of course, the ferns. My pics are updated at Webshots, if you like.


Today we went to the National Museum of Scotland and managed somehow to complete another floor, balancing the camera with those silly audio wands. Yet even here I'm finding mermaids. It turns out that mermaids are one of several mythical creatures revered by the Picts and show up on various Scottish crests, namely that of the MacLarens.

We also saw The Maiden (a guillotine), grisly thumbscrews, Pictish crosses, and a few pieces from the lovely carved Lewis chessmen from the 12th Century.

Notice the richly detailed carved backs as well. The king and queen seem rather grim,though some have called their expressions comic.

If I were to give directions to our apartment here in Edinburgh, I would say walk down the Royal Mile, head in the direction of Holyrood Palace, and turn right at the sign of the mermaid. Ha, fooled you. There's a Starbucks on the corner.

1 comment:

Gordon Mason said...

Have you been to the Scottish Poetry Library yet - you must be living very close to it!