We made the long, long, LONG, bus ride to Edinburgh on Sunday, ending up at one of the most beautiful estates I have ever seen: Dalkeith Palace. Sprawled over 800 acres, the estate is the home of a University of Wisconsin study abroad program, and we were lucky enough to stay there for our journey to the libraries of Edinburgh. Built in the early 18th century, it still has some of the original wood paneling and marble decoration, and we were encouraged to open the many numerous doors to explore where they lead. Now, it was a little different than what I'm used to as far as living conditions - I had to sleep in a 7-person room, and there are only 2 bathrooms between the 50 or so people that were there - but it really was a lovely estate... and it was quiet! It really was so nice to get out of the city for a few days, and breathe the clean, (much) cooler air.
Our first visit for our trip was a quick stop at the National Library of Scotland. Though not a scheduled tour visit, our professor did want us to stop by and explore a little. This visit was especially exciting for me, as the Library has just recently put a Jane Austen display together, featuring a rare first edition of Pride & Prejudice. Furthermore, the exhibit focused on the novel's influence over the last 200 years, and it's adoption, and evolution, in popular culture. Though a very small display (only one case), it has a profound message; Jane Austen is now more popular than ever, and her works and themes are still relevant today. It was a nicely done mini-exhibit, and I am so, so lucky to have been able to see such a rare treasure as that first edition.
I couldn't take pictures at the Library, but here are some photos of Dalkeith. Oh, and I forgot to mention the hairy coo. What's a hairy coo, you ask? It's a hairy cow, also known as a Highland Cow. Really, it should be the co-mascot of Scotland; partners with the sheep. They are so cute, and they have one at Dalkeith (though I don't have a picture of it).
|A hairy coo: photo from wikimedia.org|