We crammed a lot into this fog free day. But first of all we are so thankful NOT to have the 100 degree Fahrenheit (38c) temps that folks are enduring back home! We awoke to 48f and enjoyed a high of 65. A great last day in Scotland.
We spent the morning touring the National Museum of Scotland. This ultramodern hands-on museum features thousands of displays in the natural, physical, and human sciences that are suited to all age groups. We gave it a couple of hours, it deserves a full day.
We could not linger because we had a “date” with a smart, talented, and very personable young lady from back home. “Mickey” Ferguson is the granddaughter of Sandra and Marvin Ferguson, and daughter of Mark Ferguson and his wife, Margaret Costanzo-Ferguson. They represent 4 attorneys of impeccable reputation and skill. It is no wonder that Mickey sees her future following a similar professional path. She is pursuing her undergraduate curriculum at the University of Edinburgh, a world class institution with fees that compare favorably to those of a US state university. She has completed 2 years of a 4 year program and yet retains the excitement of a new enrollee. The 2 hours we shared with her and her friend Ben seemed to pass in minutes. Her parents and grandparents have much to be proud of in this special young woman!
Lunch and goodbyes behind us we proceeded to Holyroodhouse Palace, the Royal residence of Great Britain’s Queen when in Scotland. This remarkable palace and grounds date back to the 12th Century when it was first founded as an Augustinian Abbey. The ruins of the Abbey can be seen adjacent to the Royal Gardens. We toured the Royal Apartments which have served the heads of state since the 1500’s. This is a place where history was made. Room after room displays priceless tapestries and works of art. The furnishings and decor are hundreds of years old and yet in impeccable condition. Regrettably, photography within the Palace is prohibited.
Our day concluded with dinner and a lengthy stroll along the restored Union Canal. This 54 mile waterway which opened in 1822 was once a principle artery of commerce between Edinburgh and Glasgow, linking Scotland’s east and west. It fell into disrepair and was closed to commercial traffic in 1933, officially closing in 1965. In a move akin to the “Rails to Trails” movement within the United States, the canal was restored and reopened in 2002. It now provides recreational opportunities for canal boats, canoes, kayakers, hikers, and bicyclists. Christine and I envision a time in the near future when we will voyage the considerable canal system of Great Britain.
(Nov. 20, 2018 Note: We have chartered a 61 foot “narrow boat” for 3 weeks in the Spring of 2019. We are the captain and crew. We will be joined for parts of that “adventure” on the canals of England by our friend Kris from the 2013 Camino, and friends Tom and Nanci who we met on the 2018 Camino.)
We fly to Amsterdam in the morning and thus will begin a new chapter to this journey.
Peace Everyone. Pete