If you Google “Things to do in Edinburgh” you’ll find an endless list of things. In fact, there are still quite a few “tourist” activities that I have on my Edinburgh bucket list.
But many of my favorite activities I’ve done in both Houston and Edinburgh I’ve found through social media (mainly Twitter).
Watermelon eating contest in Houston
So recently when I stumbled upon a free event being hosted by the RCAHMS (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland) and the Edinburgh Sketcher for The Big Draw, I quickly signed up.
To give a brief description of the Commission, wouldn’t really cover all the resources they have or the magnitude of the work they do, but I will say that I could spend hours and hours on their website and looking through their physical collection at the Commission (which is free and open to the public!).
My introduction to the RCAHMS started with an overview of Britain from Above and then a tour of the resources available at the Commission just off the Meadows on Bernard Terrace. I loved all the historic books, prints, photos, and art available. It feels like the Commission has a photo of nearly every street, building, and spot in Scotland from centuries ago to present time.
It’s so special and inspiring to see how Scotland and Edinburgh have changed over time. While I started my blog as a way to share my travels and life with friends & family, photographs and writings we all do now are actually helping to create a database of information for future generations to gain insight on our lives.
view of Edinburgh from the Castle in 2012
After our tour, Mark, the Edinburgh Sketcher, took our group on a walking & sketching tour around the south side of Edinburgh. Although I live really near the locations we were viewing and sketching, I was surprised by all the features Mark pointed out that I’ve walked past for months and never noticed.
Now let me state for the record, that I’m not an experienced sketcher. My sketching experience as of recent has involved amateur outlines for the kids I babysit to color in. So when I first started sketching on the tour, I was a bit stressed.
The kids thought these drawings were incredible.
My drawings that day started out pretty poor, y’all. But by the end of the tour I was feeling much more relaxed and because I wasn’t worried about how my pictures turned out, they actually turned out better!
I don’t see a professional sketching career in my future, but much like photography, it’s something that I enjoy, but need to keep practicing.
Perhaps I should start a “sketch a day” project? My blog would be a great way of holding me accountable.
Do you enjoy sketching or drawing? What historic photos of your home or favorite spots in Scotland would you like to find on the RCAHMS online database?