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Seven

I walk home from work every day, and on the way, I pass seven churches. It takes me about an hour, give or take, to do this.

Not all of the churches are currently being used as churches, though. One is an art school, another is a theater, and I know of several other former churches in the city that now have other uses. One is a sort of tourist information booth, for example.

I am completely overawed by churches. At least, the types of cathedrals that they built here. I walk inside, and it's a struggle for me, a non-Christian, to not fall to my knees in appreciation. The high vaulted ceilings, the stained glass windows, the overwhelming sense of presence that I get. It's just something that always has moved me.

Today was an amazing day, full of the sorts of things that I've been wanting to do since I got here, but kept putting off for various reasons. I spent the day poking around the High Mile, going into any little shop that interested me and just generally being all touristy. So far, I've fallen in love with several chess sets (and had to remind myself that Tom does not need an alcholic chess set for his birthday, no matter how pretty all the shot glasses looked), some lovely scarves, and at least one sword. I bought only postcards, though, and I'm rather proud of myself for that, even though I only bought those because that's all I could afford. (Yes, the problems with the bank continue. Yay, toast.)

I started out my day at the Tron Kirk, which used to be a church and is now more of a vistor information center of sorts. It has a lot of information about the various walking tours through the city, a lot of which I intend to go on. Hell, I intended to go on one today, but 5 km of walking (I swear up hill both ways!) was enough for me, thanks. But, I'm very interested in a few of the historically based tours, as well as the various ghost tours. I do love that sort of history just as much as I adore dead Kings and Queens.

After that it was a lot of gazing longingly at things I won't be able to afford (oooh, 300 pound chess sets!) and generally avoiding the large crowds of people until I got accosted by a monk.

Or, someone who claimed to be a monk, and he was just odd enough that I'm inclined to believe it, although I'll admit to thinking at first that it was a scam to pick my pocket my distracting me.

This guy who was very very odd wanted to know if I was... what was it... into boogie juice or something. It was weirder than snake skin shoes. And then he tried to explain it, which was even odder, and involved words like jiggy and stuff. Anyway, he was trying to sell his CD of Monk Rock, which was rock music with their chanting used as lyrics. Which I totally would have bought but I didn't have any ready cash.

The whole encounter was just too odd to put into words, really.

Anyway, then I hit the Police Museum Thing, which allegedly has a wallet made out of human skin (which I didn't see, but I didn't go looking for either), and definately does have a very cool map of The Dark History of the Royal Mile. Lots of murders and crazy people and, of course, Deacon Brodie.

After that it was down the hill, poking in shops and making Shopping Lists For When I Win The Lottery. It's a very long list, most of it gifts for other people. Eventually, I made it all the way down to Holyrood Palace, which was closed because the Queen was having a Garden Party.

(*goes into spasms of glee because she is a closet monarchist*)

I consoled myself with a Terribly Expensive Royal Chocolate Bar and a postcard of the Queen for Joe, and went back up the Mile.

I made some stops at the Museum of Childhood. According to my guidebook, it was built by a man who hated children, and originally had a stained glass window of King Herod on the front. I have no idea if this is true -- I went looking for it -- but it looks like the place has been recently revamped for its 50th Anniversary, so it may have been true in the past.

I had so much fun there! There's an old player piano that you can put money in and it actually plays; there's this thing that is a "haunted house" that shows ghosts and ghoulies in this animitronic thingy that I can't describe at all because I've forgotten English; there's an actual Punch and Judy doll set; and {absolutely best of all} a Bible Board Game, where you go through the books of the bible in some sort of way. The winner gets to Revelations the fastest, I'd guess.

And that's just on the first floor!

Upstairs there's some lovely dolls, of which my favorite was the set that one was to cut out and sew together. They had four of them that were uncut. The "chinaman" was wearing blue, and had blonde hair. The "Canadian" was wearing a white outfit of some sort with a bright red sash. I was duly impressed that they had Canadians, but couldn't think of what the heck that poor little doll was supposed to be wearing.

Wish I'd gotten a pic, but no photos are allowed.

I spent time in two churches today, Saint Giles Cathedral (and yes, my Buffy fangirl loving heart did have to keep reminding myself that this was irrelevant) and Cannongate Kirk. The Cathedral had the most amazing architecture, with beautiful stained glass windows and a private chapel for the Order of the Thistle, but the Cannongate Kirk had a lovely graveyard. (As at least one person knows, I do consider graveyards to be a fun date. Then I get to spend the rest of my day debating what I want on my tombstone. Because I'm that type of girl.) I spent quite a length of time in both of them, being overawed for various different reasons. I fully intend to return to both, and have some plans involving cameras and graves. Because, again, I'm that kind of girl.

After that it was mostly just avoiding the scary monk (who I ran into *again*), not spending non-existent money, not spitting at anything referring to John Knox, and just being content with the world. Lots of buskers were out today (oh look, it's almost August), and the streets were busier than I'd want them to be. I was pretty sore on the bus ride home, but getting back here and finding that my internet was up and running was wonderful.

I wish I had some nice and signifigant thing to wrap this up with, but instead I think I'll just go have a bath and try to ignore my sore legs....

Comments

Y'know, an alcoholic chess set would be kinda nifty.

The Canadian most likely symbolized a Voyageur....or a Metis.