Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The End of all Things

Since I arrived home exactly a week ago, you're probably all wondering why I've not been posting. Simply put, I've hardly been home. Two days after I arrived home in my deadened(and I do mean deadened) state I left for a weekend trip to Illinois, to call dances at Liberty Day.

But I should start where I left off. A week ago on Monday Mrs. W and I took the everlastingly long train to Edinburgh. We arrived and had a late lunch:

Art Nouveau and pizza in Edinburgh.
I had more ethnically diverse foods in Scotland than I've ever had in before: Indian, Italian, Asian. Not quite what one thinks of eating when traveling to Scotland, but it was all very tasty.

The Maiden from the Museum of Edinburgh

After lunch we walked up the Royal Mile looking for tartan ties for the men in my life. It took half a dozen stops in the myriads of woolen shops to find the tartan I was looking  for. Don't tell me that tartans are a Victorian tourist trap, because I don't need to know that. We finally found the right clan name and I went ahead and paid 12 pounds each. People ask me(Americans ask me) if I'm Scottish. What they really mean is, were your ancestors Scottish, in which case the answer is yes. But I technically, I am not Scottish and really my family hasn't been Scottish for two hundred years. God Bless America!

We walked on, leg muscles burning and feeling like a pack horse with my travel bag on my back. We stopped and bought some really great truffles for 60p each: I bought all mint dark chocolate while Mrs. W got six different flavors. Then we stopped at the Museum of Edinburgh. It was free- how could we pass it by? It was full of neat things like swords and a guillotine and even a few articles of clothing.

A padded jacket.

The most awesome part was the small section on the Scottish Covenanters.

Standing in front of some covenants signed by Scots Reformers

The museum closed at 5pm along with everything else, so we headed over to Greyfriars Churchyard across the way. Greyfriars has such a rich history, and I'm not talking about Greyfriars Bobby when I say that. What a thing for a cemetery to be remembered for, a dog. I prefer to remember it for it's part in the history of Scotland's Covenanters.

It was a very pretty cemetery, but not as isolated as I like cemeteries to be.

By the Covenanter's Prison, trying to look alert. I could have done without the fake flowers.

After the cemetery visit we had a great deal of time before our train left the station at 11:20pm. We went to see a movie, "The King's Speech," and had dinner(more Italian). The train we took was a sleeper, so we each had our own small cabin with a bed and small breakfast in the morning, though neither of us slept very well. Upon arrival in London we took a taxi to Heathrow(We passed Hyde Park of English Country Dance fame) and that cost 60 pounds. My flight didn't leave until the afternoon so I had quite a while to sit around. I had no trouble with customs and had shrimp as my last meal on UK soil.

The flight was long, sleepless, boring and I suppose thankfully uneventful. We flew over Ireland, so now I can say I've seen Ireland as well. The inflight movie was Megamind, same as on the way over, and they played it four times. I was a bit worried about the time I had in Chicago to get from the one terminal to the other: I have short legs and it takes me a long time to get anywhere. But again, thankfully, I had no trouble with customs and made it to my gate with ten minutes to spare.

What with the two hour flight to Omaha and the hour's drive home I fianlly arrived at midnight U.S. Central time and who knows what Scotland time. I was in a state of foggy exhaustion that made speaking or coherent thought nearly impossible. And then two days later I went to Illinois.


Ashton said...

Thanks for doing all these posts on Scotland, Emily...I've definitely enjoyed them! And y'all did a great job calling the dances at Liberty Day... :)

The Marchioness said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the posts and the dance. I had a great time at the dance as well- getting stuck between Seth and your brother for Ship's Cook was awesome!