My trip to Scotland, Part 8

Day 8 (Saturday, July 7)

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:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7


Anonymous said...

Finally caught up with your travel diary! Really glad you had such a lovely time despite access issues (there are laws to say everywhere must be accessible but obviously historic sites can't always comply). Does make me want to go back, particularly to Culloden and Inverness. Edinburgh I can do on a day trip!
Pat (Hartlepool England)

Nenya said...

Sounds like an amazing week Karen. Thanks for sharing it with us.


Arnel said...

Karen, I'm sad for your leaving! So glad you had a wonderful trip!. Thank you for putting links to the other blog posts, as I only caught a couple on the compuserve website! Looking forward to catching up!

Arnel said...

Thank you so much for sharing your trip! I've now read all your posts, and it sounds like a great time! I would go every year if I could--I just loved it when I was there two years ago. I have a recipe for Scotch Tablet, and have made it (a very lengthy process), but a friend who is a Scot said when he was growing up it was quite the staple in their house. It is pretty much sugar and butter and water with flavoring, boiled for forever. My teens love it! It's too sweet for me though. Glad your travels were safe!

Karen Henry said...

It was really a WONDERFUL trip, and I'm so glad the rest of you have been enjoying my photos and stories!


Tanja said...

Ok, now I finally made it all the way through to part 8, and now understand why you didn't have more time at the Castle. I actually made it the other way around. I was at the castle when they opened, then, around one and a bit tipsy after a very nice whiskey tasting made my way down the Royal Mile to Hollyrood House, which I did not visit, than up Princes Street and because I took a wrong turn to get home to Grassmarket I ended up at the National Museum which is just around the corner and rounded my day up with that... ;-)

I totally loved to read about your travel experience and the pictures are really lovely. It sounds like you had a great time! Thank you for sharing it with us!!!!

Karen Henry said...

Holyroodhouse was closed while we were there, because the Queen was in town. So we didn't have a chance to see that, either.


Courtney said...

I couldn't get into Holyroodhouse either! I did make it into The World's End for a quick pint.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed all eight parts of your blogging you wonderful trip. Thanks again for all the interesting commentary and great photos. JerryT

Christiane said...

Dear Karen, thankyou so much for sharing with us your wonderful tour! I went through your travel diary 1 to 8, enjoying it very much, all the pictures are lovely. Reading about all these beautiful places, I suddenly realized : I have to go to Scotland in the near future!!Have got 2 friends living in the Edinburgh area.Besides, Scotland's not so far from France, so...Have a good day, greetings from Greece (I e.mailed to you a few days ago)Christiane

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for sharing your trip with your readers. I've never commented on your blog previously, but enjoy it so much. I'm glad you had such a wonderful time. I was lucky to visit briefly in Dec. of last year and the greens in your photos was nearly as vibrant. The most obvious difference was that there was snow on the mountaintops. On behalf of the other lurkers out there, keep blogging.


Karen Henry said...

Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments! I'm so glad that you've all enjoyed my posts about the trip. :-)


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing the details of your trip! I will come back to your posts for ideas if I have the opportunity to get to Scotland.

Karen Henry said...

Glad you enjoyed it! I hope you get to visit Scotland some day.


Unknown said...

Karen, thank you so much for sharing your Scottish travelogue. It's probably the closest I'll ever get to the land of my ancestors!

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