Sometimes you need to leave the classroom to go study the artifacts – even when your classroom looks like this:

Glasgow University
Glasgow University

So off we went to Edinburgh

surprisingly sunny Edinburgh
surprisingly sunny Edinburgh

I mean studying manuscripts and castles – sigh. Life is just so hard sometimes.

We started with a tour of the National Library of Scotland. The problem with studying the Middle Ages in the states is that access to manuscripts is somewhat limited. That is obviously less of a problem in the UK….

Latin Gospel with Anglo-Saxon gloss
Latin Gospel with Anglo-Saxon gloss

The Manuscripts were even the less cannonical medieval texts that don’t just revolve around knights, fairies and castles – such as Norse Sagas

Orkneyinga Saga
Orkneyinga Saga

or old Irish manuscripts

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Manuscripts = always the best, and when they are kind of weird manuscripts = even better.

I mean if you are in Edinbrgh it would be crazy not to see the cafe where J. K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series
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The food was ok… but – Harry Potter.

On a similar note, it would be crazy to go to Edinburgh and not see the castle ( things you can’t say in American cities)
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It is just so pretty.

2015-07-07 13.14.33

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh contained the fantastic combination of material that I am beginning to feel is typical of some UK museums.

2015-07-07 14.08.52
Why yes, I did want to see a giant whale hanging from the ceiling.

On the other hand – they actually had the Lewis Chessman. The earliest known chess set was a Viking board found in the Scottish Islands ( specifically Lewis – hence the name).

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