Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 3 in Edinburgh

Jonah had a rough night so we slept in and got up after Ted left for class this morning. We had a couple of errands to run, like go to the pharmacy to buy diapers (nappies as they say). Then Jonah and I went to the National Museum of Scotland. I like to do that museum first and get some background history on the place I'm visiting. It was really cool and interesting, and baby friendly. I could have brought the stroller, but I just carried Jonah in his carrier.

The museum went through the history of the Scottish people. It seems like from the earliest history Scotland has been all about keeping other people from taking over! No wonder everything is about Freedom. The Roman Empire tried to take over, but they actually failed because it was too far away. There was a school group of 7 or 8 year olds and one of the museum guides was giving them an interactive lesson on gladiators. It was so funny, and they were really cute. They were so genuine and interested, I wonder if children in the US would have been like that in a group of their peers.

The next section was about the different people who settled in Scotland to become the Scots: the Picts, the Anglo-Saxons, the Scots, Vikings...that's all I remember. They all lived together and conquered each other to become the Scottish people. The Gaelic culture emerged in the north and the islands and developed a lot of art and music. The museum had a small harp that the Gaelic people played, it was one of my favorite things.

Pretty soon, England started trying to take over and never stopped. The museum had relics from William Wallace (Braveheart) who tried to fight of those English guys but failed. It also had a guillotine that beheaded people on the middle of the main street that we are staying on. There was a section on the reformation that talked about how the Kings of Scotland would pretty much decide what the religion of the day was. The people supported Protestant queens and kings, and when one of the Kings made the Episcopal bishops rulers of the church the Scottish Presbyterians had to meet in secret and wear masks. in the 1700s, the English took over and made the English Parliament rule over both Scotland and England, with a Parliament in Scotland. I think the Scottish people are still obsessed with freedom from England, though. We were talking to a guy at the hotel who was asking us about New Orleans, ans he asked us if the people in New Orleans and the surrounding areas wanted independence from America!

We went back to the hotel to take a little nap and give Jonah a break, because then we were going to have tea with Katie! Katie is a friend of a friend of mine and she has been giving me lots of tips about traveling in Edinburgh. She is an American living here with her husband and 2 little boys. Jonah loved getting to play with them! And we both loved getting to see her little Edinburgh flat and hang out with our new friends!

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