A very cultural (and sunny) Saturday

This past Saturday, an American friend and I woke up early after a (very) long night to go to the National Museum of Scotland. This free museum is a hop skip and a jump (up some stairs) from my flat, which is very fortunate. My friend and I had envisioned a cold, rainy day spent wandering the cozy museum. In a weird twist, Saturday was the most beautiful day I’ve had so far in Edinburgh, save for the first day, with its misleading sun and warm weather. Anyways, we felt pretty bad about staying inside on such a beautiful day, so wandered around as much as we could until we felt guilty and then headed to Princes St.

Our first stop was at PieMaker, a cheap pie and pastry place that has tons of breakfast pies. The museum was packed, mostly full of families with young children. The museum has a great children’s exhibit of exotic animals, science exploration, and hands on learning…none of which interested Lena and I, who had prepared for a day of Scottish history and feeling smart.

Scottish wildlife...not

Scottish wildlife…not

We finally found the “smart” half of the museum, which was chock full of rich Scottish history ranging from the ancient people to the vikings and romans to the 19th century. We wandered through some really cool parts and then some not-so-cool, but the museum itself was GORGEOUS. It is fairly modern but the architect was a genius (see, I’m already sounding smarter from a day in the museum). We didn’t spend as much time as we planned inside because of the sun. (Because it is such a rarity in Scotland at this time of year, we didn’t want to waste the first sunlight we had in two weeks). Some of the neatest things were the replicas, including an old Highlands house and the tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots (who Meg and I know a lot about, thanks to a childhood obsession with British royalty).

A replica of the tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots.

A replica of the tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The coolest lectern I have ever seen...other than Uncle Michael's homemade ones!

The coolest lectern I have ever seen…other than Uncle Michael’s homemade ones!

A replica of an old Highlands house

A replica of an old Highlands house

After about two hours of smart-people-viewing, however, one of the kids exhibits drew me in. It was a dress-up station smack-dab in the middle of the ancient people exhibit, where kids could dress up as an invading Roman or Viking. I couldn’t help myself.

Viking girl (in a few seconds, I did actually put on the dress).

Viking girl (in a few seconds, I did actually put on the dress).

Getting my cultures confused

Getting my cultures confused

Afterwards, Lena and I enjoyed the sun with a warm walk to Princes St. for some shopping (just for necessities, Mom & Dad!). The rest of Saturday included a great nap, an 18th birthday party for a very happy Scottish girl, celebrating Australia Day at an Aussie pub named “The Oz,” and “The Big Cheese,” a university-run Saturday nightclub that was, of course, very cheesy. All in all, a very cultural day!

Back at The Elephant House doing homework

Back at The Elephant House doing homework

With my new Estonian friend!

With my new Estonian friend!

We can see the Castle from every bar in the city! A good navigational tool

We can see the Castle from every bar in the city! A good navigational tool

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