Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuesday June 12. Day Twenty

6/12/07 Day Twenty. Tuesday.

A good breakfast, another 44 bus ride, and a walk of 7 or 8 blocks put us at the National Museum of Scotland this morning, where I finally got to see the Lewis Chessmen. I don't know why I am fascinated by these figures, but I just am. After staring at them for a long time, taking several pictures, and running to the museum shop to purchase a little book about them, I finally tagged along with the rest of the crew to look at the rest of the museum. It's an excellent museum. I was struck again with the sense of time travel while looking at the prehistoric Scotland exhibit. A large rock sits near a plaque which states that this country is founded upon Lewisian Gneiss approximately 3400 million years old. Somehow it seems poetic or something that we four started our own journey to Scotland sitting, walking, admiring and climbing on this same Lewisian Gneiss in its home turf, or bog, more appropriately.

This rock, with its smooth sides and mysterious ripply markings crashed itself into my heart when our trip began. I cannot look at it without also seeing huge waves crashing on cliffs, seabirds soaring overhead, feeling ocean spray on my face, smelling peat burning, hearing sheep bleating and watching the sunset from the most beautiful place on earth. This rock has formed my first and most lasting impression of Scotland, and I think it is indeed a most poetic and perfect coincidence that this rock is the foundation of the country itself.

A country built on this rock cannot help but be rugged, strong and beautiful. A person who treks across this rock cannot help but be changed forever.


We split up for a few hours in the afternoon. Terry went off galavanting by himself while we women just walked a bit down Princes Street, finally stopping at a coffee house and just doing some people watching.

Once we met up again, we went back to Melville and gathered our belongings, taxied to the train station, and hopped the next train to Glasgow. After getting our rooms and dropping off the luggage at The Old School House, we went for a short walk to a fine Italian restaurant not far from here. Hannah wasn't feeling well, and ended up going back to the hotel before her meal even came, but the rest of us (after making sure she was home and safe and alright) stayed and stuffed ourselves and enjoyed a nice Sangiovese before returning and heading to bed.


PS I think all of Scotland is uphill. I don't know how they do it. Everywhere we go though, we have some huge hill we have to walk everyday. This time it's where we're staying. Renfrew street is just one block from Sauchiehall, (pronounced SokeeHoe) the main shopping street, but to get back to Renfrew to go home, we have to walk pretty much straight up.


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