Day 1 of my trip – getting settled in and exploring Edinburgh. Plus bonus Engineering and Harry Potter content!
It’s kind of hard to have a meaningful day of sightseeing operating on four hours of sleep – that’s all I could manage on the plane. I squeezed in a couple of short naps so I hope to be in sync by tomorrow morning.
The flight went well and even arrived early. I took the tram from the airport to downtown Edinburgh and then just walked to the hotel – it felt good to get some fresh air and stretch my legs.
The hotel is lovely – it has a small kitchenette and desk area. It’s just outside of the old part of Edinburgh, so it’s an easy walk to all the attractions. This will be a great base of operations for the next several days.
After getting settled in, I headed toward downtown for a bowl of soup, a peek inside the gates of the Greyfriars Kirkyard (which we will tour later this week), and a visit to the National Museum of Scotland.
They have a special exhibit called “The Celts” that was really interesting. I did not know that the term “Celt” referred to ancient peoples all across Europe. They have come to be associated with the British Isles more than anywhere else, however.
Another part of the museum was of course devoted to the history of Scotland. Bonus Engineering Content: I happened to come across a single-cylinder Corliss Engine that they fire up a couple of times a day – and she was oiling it and getting it ready right when I happened by. I captured a video. To operate safely in a museum, the are running it on compressed air, not steam, and she said it’s running at less that a quarter of the speed that it would have operated at when used for industrial purposes such as in a mill.
After the museum, I went to a nearby grocery store to stock up on a few essentials.
Our tour group met in the lobby this evening to review the plans for the next several days. I need to spend some time in the hotel this evening reviewing just which types of documents will be available where. I thought I had it figured it out but now I’m not so sure… Tomorrow we will be at the ScotlandsPeoples Centre, the major genealogical destination in the country.
First, though, I took off for another walk downtown – I don’t want to miss any opportunity to see the sights! Click on the images below to enlarge and to view as a slideshow.