Luckily the hotel I was staying at was able to look after my rucksack, for a small fee, for the day. The return train home, only via Manchester Piccadilly this time, wasn’t until nearly six in the evening. With the books and DVD’s that I’d purchased I had trouble closing the damn thing let alone carrying it around all day.
I had known for a while that Glasgow had a modern art gallery but I wasn’t aware that Edinburgh had one as well. The only other place that I wanted to visit on my last day north of the border was the castle and I didn’t think that I could make that last the whole day. So I headed across the city past the Dean Gallery and on to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
The gallery is home to quiet a few works that I recognised, or I knew the style enough to have a guess at the painter: Bacon, Hockney, Lichtenstein and Warhol. They also have a large collection of The Last Supper series by Damien Hirst. The Online Collection indicates that they own 13, whether that’s all of them I don’t know. On the walk out of the grounds of the building I spotted a sculpture which could only have been made by Rachel Whiteread, called Untitled (Pair).
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo must only recently have finished at the castle as the workmen were still dismantling all the scaffolding and the seats. The castle itself if really imposing and can be seen from just about anywhere in the city. It is built on the very top of a huge lump of rock, fittingly called Castle Rock, which has shear cliffs on all but one side. So the only way in or out of the castle is through the main gatehouse. When you’ve managed the climb up the path there are great views of the city, Princess Street and the railway down below, to the right the sea and Leith Harbour, to the left you can just about see the Forth Bridge. There are lots of exhibitions detailing Scotland’s military heritage and also the Crown jewels. This was news to me but there they were the crown, sceptre and sword of state. Also the Stone of Destiny upon which monarchs are usually crowned. This was part of the Coronation Throne and was only returned to Scotland in 1996.