Our Last Day

Sadly, all good things must end and this vacation is coming to a close. This is our last day here and we have one great regret; we did not plan to stay longer. Edinburgh is a magically delicious city under any circumstances, but with the Fringe Festival happening, it is superlative. Now we have to fit in all of the things we have yet to do. Shopping is one of them; we need to stock up on books in English. Living in Hungary, our choices are limited. First things first though. We wanted to visit the National Galleries. There are galleries spread around the city; they are not all in one location, but there is a free shuttle bus to take visitors back and forth.

Our first visit was Devil in the Detail: The Paintings of Adam Elsheimer (1578-1610). The 5 pound admission was covered with the Pass. We were now saving 5 pounds 25 by using the Pass. Upon entrance to the display, we were handed a small plastic magnifying glass with which to view the paintings. Elsheimer painted in miniature and without the magnification, his genius would go unnoticed. It is out of the realm of one’s imagination how anyone could paint so exquisitely, in such incredible detail, yet so tiny. He was considered a genius in his time and was an influence for the painters to follow, Rubens and Rembrandt. Born in Frankfurt, he lived and worked most of his life in Rome. He fell into obscurity and this is the first public showing of his work since 1966. Read more about his life and work here. http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/e/elsheime/index.html

Across the courtyard, we experienced artistic culture shock going from miniature to oversized art. The Ron Mueck show was astoundingly real.

Mueck creates lifelike sculpture that is beyond life size or in miniature detail. His ‘Gossiping Women’ are incredibly lifelike with the expectation that they will ask “What are you staring at?” at any minute. The photos are from http://www.artmolds.com/ali/halloffame/ron_muek.htm as photography was not allowed in the exhibit. We could not help but walk around the sculptures again and again in awe of the details of the skin. The elbows were wrinkled; the cellulite in thighs was visible. It was a mind-blowing experience to witness such detailed realistic sculptures of human beings. For more photos, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2005/12/29/GA2005122900888_index_frames.htm?startat=1 . The Pass covered admission. We were now to the good for 10 pounds 25.

By taking the free shuttle bus, we were able to visit the Dean Gallery on Belford Road to see Van Gogh & Britain: Pioneer Collectors. Although, not being a Van Gogh fan, this was interesting in the fact that it was a collection amassed by Brits. This was the first solo Van Gogh show in Scotland for over 50 years. The crux of the show is that these are works owned by British collector over the years, many having been donated to museums since, but others still privately owned.

Other than working through the park to see the pipers play or to do some last minute shopping, our day was winding down until we had to arrive at 5:00 pm for our Mummenschanz show.

This show is indiscernible. Two Swiss men and an Italian-American created this show. They wanted to create theater that transcended languages; therefore, the entire show is without word. The best way to understand it is to visit their website at http://www.mummenschanz.com/index.asp?topic_id=122&m=96&g=13 . We were held in a state of enchantment while they performed some contortionist movements, while not recognizing that it was a person doing them. The show lasted an hour, so we had time to stroll before doing our last walking tour from the Cadies and Witchery Tours. This one being The Murder and Mystery Tour.

Again, the Pass, our last Pass event for this trip, covered this tour. The cost of 7 pounds 50 brought our total savings to 17 pounds 85 by buying the Pass. This tour had a different guide, Adam Lyal (deceased) and ‘guest ghosts’ than the Ghosts and Gore Tour from last night. Some of the territory covered was the same, yet there were differences as well. The guide, the ghosts, and the information were again exceptional. The tour lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes as did the other one. We did not realize there were similarities between the two when we booked them both, but since they were part of the Pass, it did not matter.

However, after having done them both, it would not be unreasonable to do both of them even if we were to pay the fees. Each was fun entertainment, with some knowledge thrown into it. The cost was not much more than going to a movie, but held greater entertainment value. A souvenir book was provided, but since it was the same as the one we had, we declined it this go-around. One can only assume that this company saves a fortune on health insurance and other employee benefits by hiring ‘deceased’ staff. Highly recommended! info@witcherytours.com or www.witcherytours.com