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Friday, November 27, 2015

Edinburgh, Day 4: National Museum of Scotland and Water of Leith Walk

     Tuesday, we woke up to a different Edinburgh as all of the festival crowd disappeared and the city went back to its regular population.   It was a pleasure to walk the streets.
     We spent a good portion of the day at the National Museum of Scotland, which has a lot to see in its original, Victorian building and the new building.  Here  are a few things that caught our attention.
The atrium of the Victorian section of the Nation Museum

This is a lens made for a lighthouse in the Firth of Forth that was built in 1889 and just retired in 1985.

We stumbled across the Millennium Clock, which stands over 32 feet (10 meters) tall and echoes the form of a medieval church.  The clock does tell time but it is also the story of the best and worst of the 20th century.  It is quite strange.  Any of you Ian Rankin fans will recognize the mention of this clock in The Falls.

The Millennium clock

Sadly, our close-up photos didn't turn out, but you can see more photos of the clock at the National Museum website.

This is a huge slab of orbicular granodiorite from Australia.  The distorted spheres are called orbicules and the center of each represents the growth point of crystals, which grew in concentric circles.  The orbicules then settled under gravity to form rocks.

Theatrical headdress from China made with blue kingfisher feathers in the 19th century

This is part of the Loch Levin wall hangings attributed to Mary, Queen of Scots.  While Mary was trained in the arts of needlework, she can't possibly have made all of the embroideries attributed to her.  The museum staff believe that this set was made in an Edinburgh workshop in the 16th or early 17th century.

The latest technology for the 19th century housewife: an early vacuum cleaner in red.  The round, brown object is a star solid dipper (whatever that is).

After exploring the museum, we set out to walk part of the Waters of Leith Walkway, a public walkway and cycling path that runs along about 12 miles (almost 20 kilometers) of the Leith River.  We started where the walkway runs behind the Scottish National Gallery of Art.

The entrance to the walkway behind the art museum

This beagle just stood on the wall and watched his doggy friend chase sticks in the water.  He had no desire to get wet himself.

 This is one of the picturesque bridges that we passed under.

The river runs through a number of old villages.

Here is a close-up of the stone pieces that someone had assembled.

Here is another of the stone buildings that we passed.

We had planned to walk all the way to Leith, but the weather had other ideas and it started to rain.  So we stopped in Hectors, a city pub in Stockbridge, for dinner.  It was nice to be in a warm, cozy place to sit out the worst of the weather.  The new made our soggy way back to our b&b.


  1. I need to go back to Scotland to see the National Museum, as well as a whole host of other places we missed!

  2. Yes Cynthia-you must go back...and we'll go with you. LOL. There are places we missed, as well.