Saturday, May 3, 2014

Literary Moments in Scotland

I'm recently back home after a two week adventure in Scotland.  My grandfather and I had an amazing time traveling all over the country from Edinburgh and Inverness to the Isle of Skye and Oban.  Though the trip mainly revolved around history, whisky, and jaw-dropping scenery we still had a few literary related moments on the trip.  Here is a glimpse at some of them:

Deacon Brodie's Tavern, Edinburgh

Located on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, this tavern is named for William Brodie, a cabinet maker in Edinburgh in the 18th century.  By day, he was a respected and prominent citizen.  By night, he was a thief, gambler, and womanizer.  This double existence was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's classic story The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

"Tam O'Shanter" Chair at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh

Visiting Holyrood Palace was special enough for this history buff.  I literally had to take a moment to collect myself after climbing the stairs from Darnley's chamber to Mary's and standing in the room where Rizzio was murdered.  There is also a nice piece of literary history in the palace.  Created in 1822, this chair was built from part of the collapsed roof of the Kirk of Alloway, the hometown of Robert Burns.  The back has an inset of brass panels with his classic poem "Tam O'Shanter" inscribed on them.
The Scott Monument, Edinburgh

Personally, I think it looks more like a shrine to a pagan god rather than a memorial to a Scottish writer.  Located in Edinburgh's New Town, this monument honors Scotland's most famous author and the man who perhaps has done more for Scotland's image than any other.  From Ivanhoe to the Waverly novels, Sir Walter Scott's body of work remains a must-read even to this day.
St. Oran's Cemetery, Isle of Iona

Believed to be the burial place of many kings including Scottish, Norwegian, and Irish.  And who can blame them as the beautiful and peaceful setting makes for a lovely final resting place.  It is also believed to be the burial place of that Scottish king made so famous by Shakespeare...Macbeth.
It was nice to have a moment revolving around Scotland's most important authors.  If you have been to Scotland, please feel free to share your favorite literary moments with us.  Below are some of my other favorite moments from the trip.

Standing atop Hadrian's Wall

Learning the fine points of whisky making in Oldmeldrum
Finding an ancient stone circle hidden in a stand of trees near Banchory

Paying respect to the dead at Culloden

Monster hunting on Loch Ness

Out of this world scenery on the Isle of Skye

Finding peace on the sacred Isle of Iona


1 comment:

Hannah said...

It sounds like you had an amazing trip! And judging from your photos even the weather looks good! I'm very happy for you :)

Isn't Edinburgh just wonderful? I love that city so much, even more than London.