Last weekend I headed off to Edinburgh, on the 8am train, to my second Instameet. WWIM12! First up was a visit to an empty National Museum of Scotland. The main atrium is vast and an amazing space with some great features and exhibits dotted around. I'd been here only once before, on a busy Sunday afternoon with two tired nephews in tow, so it was great to be here when we had an 'empty'. Yes, that's right, they very kindly opened up the space half an hour early for us Instagrammers. An 'EmptyNMS'.
Everyone quickly set about the task of wandering around this vast 'birdcage' like building and snapping away. At about 10.15am we were taken up to a circular meeting room with great view of the bustling streets below and where breakfast was laid on. Then, the final treat was higher, up on the roof terrace where the public aren't really allowed to go. And the best part... The views of course.
Huge thanks to National Museum of Scotland team for their generosity and hospitality and @Snapmike for organising that part of the day.
Next, a few of us hopped in a taxi and made the short journey over to Edinburgh Zoo for part two of this WWIM12. It was #WWIM12EdinburghZoo. Now, I haven't been to the zoo or any kind of animal park since I was about 6. Many, many years ago. Oof, I'm getting old! The only thing I can remember from that visit was a picture of me and my sister standing next to a rock with a giant bear behind us. We had no clue he was there!
Anyway, we arrived just after 11am and got our tickets and name badges, but the surprise part was a ticket to see the Panda's at 2pm. Wow, very generous.
I headed on up the hill to the chimpanzee area where a feed was about to begin. A few people had gotten to the balcony before us so we had to wait at the fence but still managed to see the chimps grabbing away at their food. They had a huge wooden and rope built structure that looked like such great fun. A little while later we swapped over with the balcony group and got a closer view of the animals. I never took my Fuji camera with me as I wanted to shoot on my iPhone for my Instagram feed. In hindsight I should've just slung it over my shoulder as the zoom of the iPhone is not great for shots of animals who are quite far away. Still, good to see them in real life though. There's one there in that picture above, a female, who's been there for 50 years we were told.
After the chimpanzees, I decided to wander on my own. I slowly made my way up the hill to an area called Dinosaurs Return. Giant animatronic dinosaurs were dotted around, with sound effects and one was even spitting water! A few kids had fun standing under it. Another kid was screaming when his mum tried to get a picture of him at the mouth of the T-Rex. Hehe.
After a quick stop for lunch at a BBQ stall it was time to head over to the see the Panda's. The female wasn't around and the male was just sort of laying there in a hammock with his back to the window. The keeper told us he ate 45kg of six different kinds of bamboo per day. Greedy thing!
Shortly after that was the penguin parade. A strange affair. Everyone was asked to stay on the grass behind a yellow line and a little group of penguins walked around, closely guarded by the keepers. The penguins were smaller than I had imagined. Only about knee high, and the black part wasn't as black as I'd thought.
The Scottish weather was unusually warm and made for a great day out. Most of us headed back to the lecture theatre in the chimpanzee area to charge up phones and take some final shots. After that was a quick drink stop then I headed for the train.
Huge thanks to Edinburgh Zoo for their hospitality, and to the Instagram Edinburgh folks for organising it all. Really appreciate it. It was lovely meeting new faces too. I'm always a bit awkward at these events. So if I met you (or not!) and I was a bit quiet, I do like you and know that I'm much more talkative once I get to know you. *smiley face*
You can see some great photos by heading over to Instagram and typing in #WWIM12Edinburgh #emptyNMS #WWIM12EdinburghZoo I highly recommend you have a look!