Monday, July 26, 2010

What I did for Fun in Scotland :)

I am now moved back into Stamford Street, so the blog posts will (hopefully) be coming out quickly and be all the way through Edinburgh, mini-break, and the return to Stamford Street by sometime tonight. Well, tonight London time. I'm not so avid a blogger that I will sacrifice sleep just to get some more posts out.
After our visit to the Dunfermline Carnegie Library described in the last post, we had an hour before our big coach (bus) was scheduled to pick us up in Dunfermline and take us in to Edinburgh. I already knew what I wanted to do. I don't think I mentioned this previously, but we'd had a little bit of time (about half an hour) between our arrival in Dunfermline and the time that we had scheduled for our visit to the Carnegie library. Some people went shopping, some hunted down coffee (a few of us are the type that could be described as Instant Human--Just Add Coffee), and I was with a few other people who stumbled onto the local churchyard. Next to the church and its graveyard was the magnificent ruins of an abbey. Dunfermline Abbey dates back to the 11th or 12th century, and it's absolutely amazing to see what is still left of it. I saw a door and started to wander in when a lady appeared and informed me that a ticket was required to walk through the ruins. The fee was only £3.75, which I would have gladly paid then, except I did only have a half hour of available time. So I said I'd be back later, and spent the rest of my time walking in the nearby area, finding memorials to WWI and WWII soldiers and other interesting sights. This is why, as soon as we were released and told we had a full hour before the bus arrived, I made a beeline back to the abbey.
I and a friend paid our entry fee, I bought a booklet about the abbey as well, and we made our way through the ruins. I think it was one of my most favorite things of the month. I took plenty of pictures, and will be more than happy to post them after my return. Dunfermline Abbey was also a Palace, and, unbeknownst to me until now, is one of Scotland's most important cultural sites. It is also one of the most prominent burial places of Scottish royals. It is also, generally speaking, simply amazing. The entrance fee lets you crawl all over it, from the two original stone spiral staircases to the old storage caverns. You can see where chimneys used to be, and some of them are still open all the way through to the sky. Some of the architectural details are still in place, while others have faded over the centuries. I am still in awe of it, and the time flew quickly before it was time to hop back on the bus and head into Edinburgh.
Image from the Wikipedia page for Dunfermline Palace, because they didn't have a decent picture for the Dunfermline Abbey and it is the same building pretty much.

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