A Vacation of Sorts Pt 2. – Museums and Money.

The final week of my “vacation” in Edinburgh came to an end last Thursday. I have now relocated back down to the (nowhere-near-as-nice) South East of England and am just about to settle myself down for an evening of watching some Homeland after a day of job hunting.

In my last post I listed National Museum of Scotland, National Portrait Gallery and Holyrood Palace as the places I wanted to visit before leaving Edinburgh behind and I did get to do a couple of those options, plus a few other late additions. Unfortunately Holyrood Palace was never achieved as I was trying to keep this ‘vacation’ inexpensive and you have to pay to look around the Palace. Furthermore whilst I did reach the National Museum of Scotland, I only really looked around the first floor (more of a glance to be frank), before getting bored and going home. Though perhaps don’t take that as a indictment against the museum, I had only gotten 4 hours sleep that night AND half my face was numb as a result of a morning dental appointment. The odds weren’t in its favour.

What I did end up doing though, is taking a visit to Edinburghs ‘Museum on the Mound’. A museum for the Royal Bank of Scotland, and their main attraction there is a glass case containing 1 million pounds. It was bloody impressive. But, also slightly depressing, nothing like seeing physically seeing 1 million pounds cash in front of you and knowing you’ll never see that ever again! There were 50,000 genuine Royal Bank of Scotland £20 notes in a glass case, all of which had obviously been cancelled to prevent anyone from getting any bright ideas. There was even a specimen £1 million bank note that the Bank of England specially produce for in-bank use to settle the daily accounts – the only denomination of money that isn’t used outside of the bank. Pretty epic. Well worth a quick look around if you have a spare few minutes.

The National Portrait Galley was only a success – Hooray! Some of the photography was quite wonderful to wonder around and look at, I particularly liked the ‘The View From Here’ exhibit which featured landscapes from the 1840s to the present day of places like Niagara Falls to the Egyptian Pyramids. I also rather enjoyed the exhibit on ‘Out of the Shadow: Women of Nineteenth Century Scotland’ featuring portraits of women such as Queen Victoria and Charlotte Nasmyth. Unfortunately the museum doesn’t allow for photographs of the exhibits, so all I got were these snaps of the entrance hall.

The next stop then was Greyfriars Kirkyard, a cemetery located on the southern edge of Old Town. This graveyard plays host to a number of famous scots from Sir Walter Scots father to the (supposedly worst) poet William McGonagall. But better known to fans of a certain fantasy book series, this is the graveyard that hosts the gravestone of Tom Riddle Esq. the name-spiration to J.K Rowling’s Lord Voldemort. This is clearly a popular attraction for many Potter fans, as attested by the shear amount of mud surrounding the gravestones.

These last couple of weeks spent exploring this beautiful city have been incredibly wonderful. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t spend the fourteen days just sightseeing and playing tourist, a lot of it was spent packing my things, organising my move and stress sleeping. But it was rather nice to be able to have those days to say goodbye to such a charmingly beautiful city, one that I hope I will return to in the future, as it surely has been the most wonderful place i’ve ever lived.

Over and out. Xx.


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