Edinburgh, Rosslyn Chapel, and Glasgow

June 5, 2012

We agreed to get an early start because we were going to go to Rosslyn Chapel, which had become famous for its role in the Da Vinci Code. After finishing breakfast we loaded up the car and headed out. The drive to Roslin, where the chapel is located, took about half an hour (including navigation delays), so we arrived shortly before it opened. There were only a few people in line, so we patted ourselves on the back for getting there early. While we were waiting a tour bus did arrive, but luckily it was a small tour from Japan so we were not overwhelmed by people.

The doors opened at 9:30 am, and we paid our concession admission rate and went in. The chapel was absolutely amazing to see, with its elaborate stone carvings everywhere you turned. At first we used a laminated card which pointed out key carvings around the chapel, and then at 10 am we sat and listened to a brief history of the chapel which gave us much more information. At the end of the talk we were told about the free audio tour which was available on headsets, so we went back to the front desk to get these. Once again the audio provided even more information, so by the time we left we knew much more about the various carvings in the chapel.

It was now noon, so we decided to have lunch in their café – soup and tea – before going back to Edinburgh. Our last stop there was for a walk through Dean Village, which is located not far from central Edinburgh, only five minutes walk from Princes Street. This village is part of the “Old and New Towns of Edinburgh” World Heritage Site, and in the past it was a centre of water mills. On our walk along the banks of the Water of Leith we saw mill-stones, carved stone plaques with bread and pies, and the inevitable bridge designed by Telford. And although the river did have the odd plastic bag and broken bicycle in it, it was clean enough to support bird life like herons, ducks, and dippers. It was a nice way to spend the last day of our holiday.

Once we were finished our walk we made a brief stop at the Museum of Modern Art, where we had parked the car, before heading back to Glasgow. It didn’t take long to get back to Christine’s place, so we had time to reorganize our packs before heading out. We treated Neil and Christine to dinner to thank them for all the driving they had done and all the hospitality they had shown us. It took a while to find a restaurant which was open, but we had a nice meal. Back at home they gave Rosemary an early 60th birthday present, which she was made to open because she had been paying concession rates all through the trip. It was a lovely mirror with a Charles Rennie Mackintosh rose on it, which their friend Stuart had made. It was a very lovely gift and certainly a nice way to remember our trip.

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