Edinburgh: The Middle

Sunday morning I woke up to find it snowing. It was the first real snow the UK had gotten that year, and it was April. The Australian girl in my room in the hostel was freaking out, she had never really seen snow. I just shook my head, and layered up with some legwarmers and an extra sweater. It wasn't really that cold.

I went to see the High Kirk of Edinburgh. It's kind of like the Scottish version of a cathedral, only cathedrals have bishops, and the Scottish are generally Protestant, so don't believe in bishops. Thus, a High Kirk.

This church was the one that John Knox preached out of, and managed to convert pretty much everyone to being Protestant instead of Catholic. Knox learned from the guy who gave the Selles' their family institution, Calvin. When he died, he stipulated that he must be burried within 23 metres of the church that had been his home.

This was all well and good until the city began to run out of space. The graveyard around the church was turned into a parking lot, and all the bodies moved to another graveyard. But what to do with John Knox? They couldn't just move him, it was his dying wish to remain there. Thus, John Knox, father of Scottish Protestantism, became parking space number 23. All that remains to commemorate him is a gold square to mark the spot.

In the afternoon I went off to the National Museum of Scotland, where I saw loads of Scottish paintings.

The gallery is quite good, with a nice cafe as well. The building is right in the middle of Old Town and New Town, and so perfect to just pop in for a few hours when you have the time.

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