Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 20: Dunfermline and Edinburgh

Tuesday was bright and sunny and blue-skied in Edinburgh:

You know it's going to be a great day in Scotland when the sky is the colour of the Saltire!

After a bus trip over the Forth Bridge to Dunfermline, we had nearly an hour of free time before our first library appointment of the day. Conveniently, right behind the library are the remains and ruins of Dunfermline Abbey. What was once just a priory church located at the seat of Scottish government under Malcolm III and his wife St. Margaret was raised to the status of an abbey in 1150. There were kings and their royal families buried; some kings, like Robert the Bruce, were even crowed within the Abbey itself. The Abbey was home to monks as well, and the remains of their living and working quarters are the more ruined parts of the structure. The cathedral centre, however, is still in quite good condition:

Having enjoyed the little morning walk about the ground of Dunfermline Abbey, our library group headed into Andrew Carnegie's first library, the Dunfermline Carnegie Library, for what was a really good tour. From there it was back on the bus to Edinburgh, where our second appointment of the day was to take place.

A few of us took advantage of our free time for lunch and the really beautiful weather to have a picnic in Princes Street Gardens, which includes the Walter Scott Monument:

From there we made the short walk over to the National Archives of Scotland, our finally library tour in Scotland. After that finished, we librarians were officially on mini-break! After visiting 16 libraries in the past 19 days (not counting Day 1, which was all travel), it's nice to look forward to the next few days' break! A few of us did a bit more shopping on the Royal Mile before taking the bus back to Dalkeith, where we enjoyed good pub fare at the Buccleuch, a pub named for the family that has historically owned the Dalkeith estate at which I'm currently staying. We enjoyed a fun, laughter-filled evening at the pub, complete with some really tasty fish and chips and peas and warm cookie cups with ice cream and toffee sauce.

Oh, Scotland! Always so many thing to enjoy.

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