Monday, 25 July 2016

Been wanting to visit here for Ages

I have always had a natural curiosity. So books such as Dan Brown's  TheDa Vinci Code and the accompanying movie plus documentaries such as The Curse of Oak Island really capture my imagination. I quite enjoy history particularly when there is a conspiracy involved in the retelling of any story.

As my Blog titles says for this current blog I have 'been wanting to visit here for Ages' the place in question was Rosslyn Chapel, which is in Midlothian in Scotland. The chapel features in both Dan Brown's book and subsequent movie and also in the documentary series The Curse of Oak Island.

Rosslyn Chapel
As this was a special adventure I wanted to take someone special along with me. After all memories shared with someone special make the occasion that more...well memorable. I have been informed by that special someone I am not allowed to blog about her as she is shy, so no pics of her.

During the week I arranged our overnight stay for the Saturday night at a absolutely fantastic B&B. This was Ivory House in Gorebridge. Both Jack and Barbara the owners were so warm and friendly and the accommodation was excellent. Jack was so helpful, drawing me a map of how to take a short cut to Rosslyn Chapel and also giving us a bit of local history about Rosslyn Castle. To be honest I wasn't even aware of the castle , but so glad we got the opportunity to go and see it as upon 
re- watching the Da Vinci Code again I saw exactly where we had been and where parts of the movie had been filmed.
Rosslyn Castle and Bridge
Remaining parts of Castle wall
Part of the remaining castle
The journey up to Scotland should have been straight forward on Saturday afternoon, but me being me, combined with Tango (my Smart Car) and her Sat Nav well I took at least 3 wrong turns. In a way not to bothered as we got to the B&B, yes a little later than expected, however we did take a marvellous scenic route. Could I dive that way again, 'errrr No'. After meeting Jack (Barbara was away at Sunderland Air Show) and getting settled in, Jack recommended a place to go for a bite to eat. It was called the  Coronation Inn. Jack even rang ahead and booked us a table, then proceeded to give me directions. The Coronation Inn being in walking distance. Once there we enjoyed an absolutely gorgeous meal and a few drinks before heading back to Ivory House all excited about the following day.

On Sunday we were up and down stairs for 9am. Jack had prepared us a beautiful breakfast, consisting of things like breakfast Haggis, black pudding, sausages,bacon and eggs, mushroom and tomatoes. We had a lovely relaxed morning, before grabbing our gear as well as the map Jack had drawn, paying our bill and saying our farewells, promising to return another time , which I hope we can do as I really enjoyed our stay. Jack was telling me Peebles and Glentress is not to far away so it may be an opportunity to rent his cottage and get some riding in at Glentress. We had fully planned on visiting Glentress forest to be honest but the day just got away from us.

Tree growing through wall

Pictures from nearby grave yard

The ride to Roslin took no time at all and soon we saw the sign for Rosslyn Chapel. As the Chapel did not open until 12 noon, it gave us enough time to have a scout about and have a look at Roslyn Castle and the small bridge. Jack told us the Castle is on a rock precipice, there is a small bridge which allows you to cross a 120 feet ravine. When the English under Oliver Cromwell (I think Jack said) tried to invade the castle they were caught on the bridge as it forms a 'V' at each end, making the bridge very narrow in the middle. The Scots piked the English soldiers over the low walled bridge. Rosslyn Chapel at one point was used to house the enemies horses. The Chapel dates back to 1447 I believe.


After visiting the Castle and grave yard we went to pay to get into Rosslyn, there was quite a queue. We noticed almost everyone was speaking different languages, French, Spanish and Italian. It is no wonder as Rosslyn just holds so much history and once in and you see the building itself, well it is amazing. It was a lot smaller than I imagined. Actually William Sinclair died I think 38 years after work began and his son did not complete the Chapel to his fathers design. if he had it would have been a lot bigger and in the shape of a cross. That said what was constructed is a masterpiece. If you think the outside is amazing, the inside which you are not allowed to take photographs of which I wasn't really aware of until I got there is absolutely incredible. Obviously gutted I couldn't get a few snaps of the inside. Things like the 'Green Man'.  I cannot possibly describe the detail. I mean yes over the centuries things have worn and decayed. Wow what it must have been like when first completed and everything was sharp and detailed. There is just so much going on in that little chapel. The crypt with it's very steep stone steps has a weird feeling to it. I would like to think just like in Dan Brown's book or as mentioned in The Curse of Oak Island there are lots of secrets built into the walls. Some of the designs picture fruit and flowers that were never indigenous to mainland Britain for instance. Rosslyn was built approx 100 years before the 'New World' was discovered by Christopher Columbus. So does that mean Ancestors from the Sinclair family travelled by sea to far off shores and discovered the fruit and flowers some 100 years earlier then depicted these items in their workmanship.

We spent 2 hours there and that was not nearly enough to take it all in or describe the half of it to you. During our visit a lovely young lady, who I think was French began a talk about the history of the Chapel. From it's creation to present day. Wow if those walls could talk.

So much going on in the architecture it's difficult to take it all in.

So many features to this building
Some sort of monument to side of Chapel
Even doorways are interesting with stonework

Engraved in Monument outside
Attention to detail is mind blowing
One of the Gargoyles

All in all a lovely weekend. I got to go somewhere on my to do list and as an added bonus I have someone special to recount a wonderful memory with. Now then what to do next weekend Lol

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