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Wandering the streets of Edinburgh

Jon Harris '09

 

Ring ring. Ring ring.  Knock knock.  Hello?  So began the Saturday morn of the twenty-seventh of May.  Upon the strokes of 7:15, 7:30, and 8:00, the hotel, in its efforts to assist in waking me up, made calls by phone and actual visits to the room.  It was a worthy effort that unfortunately succeeded each time.  Not since…I don’t know when I last had to wake up so early on a Saturday.  Once awakened, I wandered from the dungeon-like inner chambers of the hotel, through the dozen corridors, fire doors, and staircases and finally arrived on the ground floor.  The lovely meal was served among marble pillars and canopy lamps and consisted of bacon and ham, sausages, fancy oatmeal, and assorted fruit.  The fruit was great, and there was a lot of it.  As such, some of us decided to steal some for snacks later.

After breakfast, the choir took a short trip on the bus to St. Giles, the high kirk of the Church of Scotland.  Upon arrival, when we walked through the doors, I stopped in awe at the wonder of the church.  The stained glass appeared new compared to that of the York Minster—modern, though some windows were older with designs like crests and coats of arms.  The sanctuary appeared much more intimate than the Minster, being shorter in height and darker in lighting.  This only added to my wonder because it transported me to an elder day when the church was used.  Shortly after noon, upon the conclusion of a short prayer service, the Glee Club made its Scottish debut and finished at around ten of one.  Shortly thereafter, the Club made its exit and splintered into tiny groups into the many avenues of Edinburgh.  Some went to St. Andrew’s, an hour and a half drive away.  I fell into the category of the Edinburgh wanderers.

My group walked back to the hotel, but en route, a group of about ten of us made an impromptu performance on the bridge over the Edinburgh Gardens in the ravine.  We sang numbers like “Down By the Sally Gardens” and “Old Wabash”.  By doing so, we met some fellow Americans from Ohio and Maryland.  After the short singing appearance, we went to change and promptly left again for an afternoon of shopping and walking.  After a few hours of frittering away my money on clothes and bagpipes, we made our final stop in a restaurant to enjoy a meal and a nice pint.  A fitting way to relax after a day of wandering.