Day Nineteen - Book Sculptures and Beer

In one of the guide books I took out from the library while researching our trip, I read about the Edinburgh Book Sculptures and was most intrigued by the story. Apparently, in 2011, small sculptures began appearing around Edinburgh, in places associated with literature and the arts. The first one was found in the Scottish Poetry Library, with others appearing in other locations, from March through to November, 2011. The sculptures are constructed from old books, and were accompanied by labels praising literacy and the love of words and were a quiet protest against the cutting of funds to the arts. They were toured throughout Scotland in 2012. Even though the artist claimed that there were only ten, an eleventh was delivered to the Edinburgh Bookshop, addressed to Ian Rankin, some of whose books were used for the other sculptures. As part of Book Week Scotland in 2012, the sculptor who was, and remains, anonymous, was commissioned to create five more sculptures to be hidden around Scotland. Since then, more sculptures have appeared, including one that consisted of a sculpture 6’6” high of a tree with butterflies as leaves, the butterflies having been sent in by members of the public. It is supported by a “lost child"“ and was left with a fictional story about the Butterfly Tree and how it comforted the lost child. To this day, the sculptor remains anonymous. It was a story that totally intrigued me and was a fun way to explore more of this amazing city!

In the course of looking for these sculpture, I went into many buildings that I would not normally have gone into: The Scottish Poetry Library, the National Library, the Central Library and the Edinburgh Film Institute. Another one was the National Museum which is in itself a treasure. They have an exceptional collection of just about any subject you could name. We spent a fair bit of time in the Kingdom Of Scotland section and browsed through a few others, but you really would need to spend several days to do the museum any justice. Perhaps if we have time, we will head back there.

After all that hunting, we were getting a little peckish, so decided to grab a bite before heading over to Innis and Gunn, the people who brew some of Irv’s favourite beers. He had contacted them through one of the agents from the wine store, so we were expected. Unfortunately it was pouring rain as we wound our way through the cobblestone streets of the old town, but we found it with no mishap. Our host was Fergus, who sat us down and offered us our choice of their 24 beers. Irv enjoyed the Inverslmond Ossian Smooth Golden Ale, but I did not. Much too bitter for my taste. He also tried the Innis and Gunn Mexican Saison, which is brewed with jalapeños and other spicy peppers and one small sip just about blew my tongue off! He also tried their Basqueland Milagrito Mexican Stout, which was not at all spicy and much better tasting. I stuck with water!! Unfortunately this is just a restaurant/pub, so there was no brewery tour attached. All of their beer is brewed in a facility in Glasgow.

On our way back to the apartment, we passed by George Heriot’s School, which has been in existence for 350 years, presently operating as an independent co-ed school for students between 3 and 18. It is a very impressive building, but unfortunately the guard at the entrance wasn’t letting me get any closer than the entrance gate!! Not sure what the fees are to attend, but our tour guide on our city tour told us that one of the other private schools charges 18 000 pounds yearly to attend!! That's $31 000 Canadian!!

Because the wraps we had for lunch were so huge, we had saved half each (always carry a ziploc in your bag) and decided to stop for a bottle of wine, some salad fixings and a dessert on the way home and just have a meal in for the night.