Saturday, June 5:  A Slow Museum and a Fast Hike

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Photo 296  The Hills that Hadrien’s Wall was Built on
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Photo 297  A View of Edinburgh
This morning I got out of bed, and as usual went down to breakfast, ate, and then came back up. Today we were going to a museum, so I grabbed my backpack and then went outside. We walked to the bus stop, and then the number 33 bus came up, so we went up to the top floor and sat down. Eventually we came to the stop we wanted, so we jumped off and started walking. We came to the National Scottish Museum, just what we were looking for, but across the street we noticed something else. It was a statue, with a dog on top, and we recognized it as Greyfriar’s Bobby! He was a Skye terrier, and was famous because he was a policeman’s dog, and when the man died, the dog visited his grave every day, for 14 years! The grave of the dog and man are at Greyfriar’s church, so we walked behind Greyfriar’s Pub, and the church was there. We looked at their graves, and then went back across the street and into the museum. We payed for tickets, and then walked into the big airy room, the first floor. We picked up some free audio guides, and then went down to the floor below us -1, where there was the first exhibit. It was prehistoric stuff of Scotland, and was pretty cool. It talked about how animals first came to live here, and a lot of them were extinct. There was even one that looked like a mini Loch Ness monster! Then we went back to the first floor, which had stuff from the middle ages. I liked all of the old coins. On the second floor was some more things, only a bit neater and from a later on time period. On the third floor it showed how they spun cloth and also how they compressed steam, with a huge machine! It was old, made of wood, and very big. On the fourth floor, it was small, and like a big balcony looking over the machine in the big room below, with some more old stuff.

Finally, on the fifth floor, it had stuff from about the 1800s in Scotland. We decided to skip the 6th floor, modern stuff, and went to the rooftop terrace, which had a great view of Edinburgh, but made it look all industrial. Then we went back down to the first floor by the elevator, and looked for a place to eat. In a big room there was a restaurant, but it was expensive, so we didn’t go there. Only then did we realize that there was a whole other museum that our ticket covered, but smaller. One exhibit was for sports, but we decided to come back to it later. We went to some bigger rooms, that was about animals, all stuffed, but not real. They looked real though, all kinds of them, tigers, monkeys, birds, whales, and reptiles. It was very interesting, and there were very many. Then we left, and walked back to the sport area, where Robert and I did some things. There was a booth where you kick soccer balls into holes to get points, and was a lot of fun. There was also a balance machine, and a sit and reach. Our parents found us, and said that we were going to eat. We followed them to a cafeteria in a room, so we got a kids meal, which included a drink, cheese sandwich, an orange, some chips, and a Kit-Kat. We sat at a table and then ate it all. When everyone was done we left, and walked outside and caught the bus home. At our room I did some homework for a bit, and then Dad came into our room and said that we were going on a hike, but Mom didn’t want to come. We packed a bag, and then walked outside. We were going to climb to Arthur’s Seat, a huge hill/rock that could be seen from all of Edinburgh, and is officially in city limits.

10 minutes later we were at the base of it, and started walking along the driving road, to find a car park. After 3/4 of a mile we came to it, and that was where the trail we wanted to take was. It sloped up for a ways, so we started walking through the grass. As we began to get higher, we could see the city unfold. Eventually we got to the very top, a rocky area that was very windy. There were two markers, and a few other people. We could see the ocean and the city on either sides, and was very scenic. I climbed up on the marker, a big rock, and for a few seconds I was the tallest person in Edinburgh! Then the wind started to get to me, so I climbed down. Then we all went back down, which was easier, and then walked back to the hotel, where my Mom was waiting. She was ready to go to dinner, and so was everybody else, so we walked back outside again. Tonight was the night before Robert’s birthday, so we were going to have his birthday dinner today!

We made reservations at the place where we ate the first night, and 2 minutes later we were in, and had a table. We looked at the menu, and Robert and I both got the ham and cheese things again, and I got some lemonade (Sprite) with orange juice in it, while Robert got just plain lemonade. Soon our orders came by another cheerful waiter, and we ate it. It was very good, and if anything better than last time! When we had all finished, the waiter took our food, and we talked a little. Then the lights started to dim, and some people came out, with a cake! Everybody started to sing “Happy Birthday,” and sat the cake down in front of Robert. He blew out all of the candles, everybody cheered, and then the lights turned on and the people left. We looked at the cake more carefully, and it was Homer Simpson! How cool! It showed his face on it in frosting, with yellow in the background. We cut it up, and we started eating it. It was very good, with a unique frosting and some berry ribbon in the middle. The cake was vanilla. Then all was gone except for his head, because we couldn’t eat any more. The woman gave us a box, and we wrapped it up, payed the bill, thanked the people, and then walked back to the room. There we all went to bed, tired. Tomorrow’s Robert’s real birthday!