Thursday, August 11, 2005

St. Giles

My tour of the Highlands was the first thing I did in Scotland, all day August 3rd (Bruno's birthday, incidentally -- thanks to Jean, Tom, Shawn and Doug for making the surprise birthday visit I planned before I left!). The next day we gave a concert in St. Giles cathedral, the only Presbyterian cathedral we sang in. It was also the smallest and seemed to have more restoration work going on than any other, although it is ongoing in any cathedral. Scaffolding was being erected the day we sang, which added incredibly loud and inharmonious punctuation to our (attempted) rehearsal. Peter bravely ignored (by pausing every few minutes, which was how often we were interrupted!) the cacophony and got us prepared to sing together for the first time in many days. The space was lovely to sing in, and made for a memorable conclusion to our singing "duties" on the tour.

SG banner UP

This handmade banner shows a profile of St Giles' lovely arched "dome" which is open and airy.

unicorn window UP

You may tire of all the stained glass window photos I'll end up having, but they were really the only satisfying thing to photograph as everything was usually too high up, far away and dark to get a decent shot. They are lovely, though, and I include this one because it has a unicorn, and I like unicorns.

SG ceiling UP

Okay, you just KNEW I'd have at least one exception, and I do have a few. This one is a lovely portion of ceiling which was close enough to several windows to give a chance of a successful photograph. It is in a fairly new section of the cathedral, but I wasn't writing things down, so from memory (Lord help me.....) it was the chapel of the Knights of the Thistle. The space was small but packed with significance, and with special places for important people, such as the Queen.

SG interior UP

A natural light interior shot.

St. Giles doortop UP

Here's one I'll bet not many people saw, as you had to look up, over top of all the plastic wrap on the outside of the building, to notice this just above the entrance door. It is truly beautiful, and saddening in that it points up what we couldn't, and wouldn't, see.

St. Giles night UP

This is the dome at night, taken from my hotel room, and doctored a bit in PhotoShop. I love my Kodak 6490 DX, but it is not very good in low light. Having said that, I think the photo is pretty good for all the darkness and it being about at least a mile away. The views from my hotel room were spectacular and ever-changing with the light and weather.


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