My trip to Scotland, Part 8
Our luck with the weather finally ran out today, on the very last day of our trip. A light but steady rain fell all day long, and it was cold, only in the mid-50's F. Definitely a good day to visit a museum! My sister had made plans to spend much of the day exploring Edinburgh with two other members of our tour group, so my mom and I took a taxi to the National Museum of Scotland.
We loved the museum. It's a fascinating place, with lots of wonderful artifacts, going back all the way to the beginning of Scotland's recorded history (Picts, early Christians, etc.). For someone like me, with a particular interest in the 18th century artifacts, there was a lot to see. I'll show you a few examples of the items that I thought would be of particular interest to OUTLANDER fans.
Click on any of the photos below to enlarge them.
1) Charles Stuart's gold and sterling silver picnic set (mentioned in DRAGONFLY IN AMBER). Thanks to Judy Lowstuter for telling me that it was on display in this museum! (You can get a better look at it here.)
2) Broadswords, dirk, and targe
3) Chocolate pot (with a hole in the top to allow it to be stirred), 1721. (Photo from the museum's website.)
4) A device for locking a coffin to keep body-snatchers (like John Hunter, perhaps?) from stealing the corpse.
5) 18th century medical instruments. Bleeding bowl, fleam, lancets, etc. (The lancets and fleam were smaller than I'd expected.)
6) A medical textbook from 1776.
7) Pistol, dirks, and sgian dubh.
8) Wooden spoons, such as ordinary crofters might have used.
9) Portable writing desk. I could see Lord John using something like this in the field.
If you have plans to visit Edinburgh any time in the future, I would definitely recommend taking the time to visit the National Museum of Scotland! It's well worth it, and we saw only a small part of what's available there.
In the museum's gift shop, I found a beautiful Caithness paperweight to add to my collection. I have six of these now, collected over the last five years or so, all different colors, and I love them! This one is called "Swirly Whirly Ruby".
After we had lunch at the museum, my mom and I took a taxi to Edinburgh Castle to see the Honours of Scotland, aka the Crown Jewels. It was still raining pretty steadily.
After we reached the castle, we waited about 20 minutes in a cold rain at the spot pictured above, until a car finally came to take us up to where the Honours of Scotland were on display. The jewels are impressive, but my mom said the Crown Jewels in London are much more so.
I spent a long time staring at the famous Stone of Scone, remembering the movie "Stone of Destiny", about the four Scottish college students in the 1950's who smuggled the Stone of Scone out of Westminster Abbey and brought it back to Scotland. (Great movie, by the way.)
My mom and I didn't linger too long at the castle. We were too wet and cold and tired to sightsee any longer, so we went back to the hotel. My sister Alice returned a while later. Here are a couple of her photos from her time in Edinburgh:
This photo makes me laugh. I love the combination of kilt, bagpipes, and modern rain-gear. <g>
The World's End, in Edinburgh. I didn't get to see it on this trip (there just wasn't time), but my sister took this photo for me. I love the idea that Jamie and Claire were there!
On Saturday evening, the three of us went out to dinner one last time, and then it was time for my mom and I to pack for an early-morning flight home. I wish we'd had more time, and better weather, in Edinburgh. I'm sure there's a lot more to see!
I hope you've enjoyed my little travelogue. <g> Thanks so much to everyone who's commented on my photos and stories. We had a GREAT time in Scotland, and I have so many wonderful memories!
Here are the previous blog posts in this series: