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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Europe CNY 2012 - Day 9, Part 2 - Edinburgh

"However the world pretends to divide itself, there are only two divisions in the world today: human beings and Germans." - Rudyard Kipling

***

Europe CNY 2012
Day 9, Part 2 - 27th January - Edinburgh


At Edinburgh Castle, quite a few cars had had the EU GB license plate. This was expected, being Crown Land.

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"Modernising Waste"
Modernisation involves being fined for putting your trash out at the wrong time. Can you do it in the morning before going to work?

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"Hanam's. Kurdish & Middle East Restaurant. Shisha Area Now Open"
This was on Castle Hill

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"In a house on the east side of this close, Robert Burns lived during his first visit to Edinburgh, 1786"
They don't know which house. Sad.

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George IV Bridge. I'm wrong - it is really a bridge, at least for most of its path.

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"Central Library is proud to be at the heart of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature"

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George IV Bridge

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Road under Central Library

I had 2 pizza slices for lunch. They were lousy as I expected (though a French speaking couple I asked said it was good) but there were time constraints and the shwarma shop up ahead was closed for lunch (wth), and I needed energy to climb the hill later on. I suppose there're advantages to ordering your own pizza, not slices.

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the elephant house

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"Magic..!! Is the only way to describe the ambience of the Elephant House"

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"Birthplace of Harry Potter"

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Maybe it was cheaper if you got takeaway

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Augustine United Church

I then went to the National Museum of Scotland. Since time was limited I decided to look at the Scottish historical artefacts, though there was a bit of everything: natural history, technology, history and other odds and ends. My theory was the uniquely Scottish stuff was where their comparative (and absolute) advantage would lie, and I am not very interested in anything after the Renaissance anyway.

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All-purpose toilet

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Hunterston Brooch, AD700

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War Trumpet. Roman Era.

The Romans had only occupied a bit of Scotland and only for a short time, yet there were a lot of artefacts.

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Commemorative Inscription, Roman Times
The labelling was somewhat different from virtually all museums, so often it was hard to identify the name of artefacts and what time period they came from (it was in such small print that it was easy to miss, as many of my photos do - darn; in fact it seems some items are undated). All the same, the presentation was very innovative.

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Combs

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Roman Grave Sculpture, 2nd century AD

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Viking Grave

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Gravestone

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Altar Front, 8th c. AD

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St Ninian's Isle treasure

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On the St Ninian's Isle treasure

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Carved Stone with Female Aristocrat, 9th c. AD

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Carved Stone with Drunk Warrior on Horse, 11th c. AD

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Gold torcs, 300-100BC

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Bizarre statues (which are used to display items)

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Painted ceiling from the Guthrie Collegiate Church, Angus, 15th c
"It is the only painted ceiling surviving from before the Reformation"

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Various church items

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More church items

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Coigrich, 15th c.; Bronze crozier head, 11th c.

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On the relics of St Fillan

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The Fetternear Banner, 1520

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Scribe stuff

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Papal Bulls

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"Hand bells of the Saints", 7th-8th c.

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Covenating Banners, as used at Battle of Bothwell Brig, 1679

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Mask and Wig of Alexander Peden
Yeech

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The National Covenant

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Carved Sandstone Overmantel, 1651

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More furniture, 17th c.

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Huntly Funeral Procession, 17th c
Not sure why this is under "Medieval Society"

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The rest of the Lewis Chessmen (the other 67 are in the British Museum in London)

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Jewellery

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St Andrew

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Bute Mazer, ~1314
This is a feasting cup

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Ceremonial Swords, 15th-16th c

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Walrus Ivory chesspiece, mid-13th c.

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Powder horns

To end off, I looked at something completely different:

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Baaa.... In other news this is why I don't rely on my phone for photography when I travel

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Dolly, taken with a proper camera

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Hall

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You can see which of the other highlights I missed. The Benin Bronze Heads were perhaps the most interesting.

As you can see the National Museum of Scotland was an excellent museum, with good exposition, presentation and display. I was sad that I couldn't see more of it. Maybe if I return to Edinburgh...

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Royal Mile, Lawnmarket

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St Giles Cathedral

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Walter Scott

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St Giles

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"Angels with Bagpipes"
I cannot imagine Angels would use Bagpipes

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Poor woman pimping her historical tour and being ignored

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North Bridge

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Tartan Factory Outlet. No thanks.

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Calton Hill from bridge

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General Register House

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Road to Calton Hill

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Old Calton Cemetery with "Celebrities" like David Hume. Well, that was the only name I recognised.

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Calton Hill

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Regent Road

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Calton Hill information

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Nelson Monument

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Dugald Stewart Monument, one of the icons of the city

At about this time my camera finally kaputed.

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Portuguese Cannon

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Dugald Stewart Monument and Edinburgh
The magnificent orange, yellow and red don't really show up well

Here is one of the classic shots:


(Source)

Here's an equivalent (probably PSed):


(Source)

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Nelson Monument, ridge behind

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Edinburgh view

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Nelson Monument, National Monument

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Observatory

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Neo-Classical and incomplete National Monument (they ran out of money in 1829)

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Edinburgh view

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Ridge behind Calton Hill

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The National Monument wasn't so nice from the back (see the dumpster)

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Geology lesson

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Of fire and ice

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Other side of Edinburgh

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Nelson monument

There was a "Hume Walk" on Calton Hill. This was probably just marketing.

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Mounting the cannon

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Dugald Stewart Monument

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Edinburgh

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Edinburgh

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Who photographs the photographer?

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Addicted's Army: http://addicted.blogsport.de/ (but it's in German)

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I then went back to the cemetery. It was a bit dark to go tomb hunting and I had no map, so I just wandered around and I will say that I visited the place where David Hume is buried.

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Cemetery

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Obelisk

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Calton Hill from Cemetery

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Path to street

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Alexander Duncan

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Obelisk inscription: Thomas Muir

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Obelisk

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Scottish T-shirts: "I'm not an alcoholic. I'm a drunk. Alcoholics go to meetings"
"It's a kilt. If I wore underwear THEN it would be a skirt"

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Stevenlaw's Close

On the way back, I passed an establishment selling one of the most famous Scottish delicacies.

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Deep-fried Mars Bar
It was quite good (£1,9): warm and gooey, with a thin and light batter (though it didn't cling that well to the bar and the two were quite distinct). I prefer the version with Ice Cream though.
Oddly the place sold doners (I didn't see many doner places in Scotland, possibly because they have enough unhealthy food already). Even more oddly they were not Turks but Italians. One of the Italians said since Turks sold pizza, he sold kebabs.

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Adam Smith


Edinburgh Streets: I hate bagpipes

For dinner I went to a pub.

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Consumer Protection laws: "If you think the head on your beer or lager is too large... we will gladly top up your glass. Under UK law a reasonable head may form part of a pint."

I decided to have one of Britain's favourite foods.

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Chicken curry with naan
I was quite disappointed with this. I thought it would be authentically British (i.e. sweet, as some people complain to me). Instead this tasted very Indian (i.e. spicy and unsweet). Though they gave me a fork and a knife.
Interestingly they cut chicken breast into odd shapes for the curry - WHO USES CHICKEN BREAST IN CURRY??? And parts of the naan were too dry (they probably microwaved it without water). I should've gone to a curry shop for butter chicken, but then that was harder to find.

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They raised £97,01 for charity. If it were me I'd be ashamed to boast of this measly sum.

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This was actually the main purpose of going out to a pub for dinner - Cranachan. The curry was just a diversion.
There was very little whiskey in it.

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Ghost Tour (nightly!). I passed on this. Yes, I'm getting old.

I toyed with the idea of climbing Calton Hill to watch the sunrise but decided not to, since I'd already seen sunset.
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