Last day, last museum, last walk around an ancient city. We have come to the end of our 28 weeks of travels and adventures. It’s hard to remember back to April 1, when we first discovered Nice. (Just like America before Columbus, it didn’t really exist till we set foot on its shores.)
It has been exciting, exhausting, routine, thrilling and broadening – in every sense of the word. There was never a time that we wished we could just click our ruby slippers and go home. But, now we are ready.
We spent our final Edinburgh day in museums and on the streets, just soaking in more of Scotland.
Fittingly, we visited the Museum of Scotland, which starts of course in prehistoric times. Bronze-Age jewelry on ultra-modern mannequins and James VI’s cradle! Amazing artifacts and a comprehensive lesson in how Scotland came to be what it is today.
We also had some time for the National Portrait Gallery, pictured at the top. The building almost steals the show, but the good and great of Scotland are also worthy of note.
So, our journey ends here because this city is very important in our lives. It was here that we were married in 1984, where we eloped and formalized our already ten-year-old relationship.
We thought it would be great to revisit the Register Office where our marriage began, and perhaps see a copy of the actual pages that we and our witnesses signed to validate what was a lovely civil ceremony. (Remember, Bernard?) We couldn’t recall where that was, so we tried the main records office. But they sent us to another office on the Royal Mile, and that’s where a small miracle occurred.
The clerk we spoke to patiently explained that our records would have gone to the main office and there was no reason for them to have sent us to her, and, furthermore, that those signature pages weren’t kept. When we asked about where the specific office was in which we got married, we learned that location, at 50 Queen Street, no longer exists. She confirmed this by calling over one of her colleagues, who used to work there. This woman, Evie Stuart, looked at our marriage certificate and said, “That’s my name! I recorded this as the assistant registrar!” Would you believe it?
She was very pleased to learn that one of her marriages is still going strong after all these years, and we all remembered funny little Mr. Purves, who actually performed the ceremony. Edinburgh is, as Alexander McCall Smith often says, a small town after all.
Goodbye to Edinburgh, Scotland, England, Wales and France. Goodbye to all the moments of the past we have been able to touch and see. Goodbye to the great beauty that we have witnessed, that forms the foundation of our culture. And finally, goodbye to all the wonderful people we have been with along the way – friends old and new.
It’s an amazing world we live in and we are extremely lucky to have seen so much more of it.