Destination: Rosslyn Chapel and Edinburgh, Scotland
Date: May 2013
Going to Scotland has to be a very well planned out activity. For me planning this itinerary was one of the most complicated. I had no idea what I wanted to see or do! I had seen the postcards and beautiful vistas of Scotland but where exactly could I find these green luscious cascades? So I did what I always do… I hit the internet, I ordered books and I began to read read read!
Finally after a few weeks of study I made up the plan. This time around we planned our visit to Scotland with three other couples. We had four days to play in this beautiful countryside and our journey finally began in early May. We had already agreed upon a twelve day cruise through the Baltic Sea so our trip to Scotland was tagged onto the beginning of this amazing adventure.
From Texas we had to fly into North Carolina to catch our seven and a-half hour flight to Dublin. This flight flew us through the night and jumped us ahead six time zones and after just a few winks of sleep here and there, we arrived in Dublin at 7:00am. Of course we felt exhausted but Trent’s and my mantra on getting accustomed to the time zone is to jump right into it. So without any real rest we caught our 10:00am flight over to Edinburgh and arrived an hour later on our little puddle jumper of a plane.
Flying into Edinburgh was a beautiful scene. The greenery was amazing and the city inviting. We easily zoomed through the airport, met up with one of our traveling couples, the “R’s” and headed out to find our rental car. Since we booked with Hertz it was an easy find, and we were able to walk straight out to our car and get started
The best part about our car rental when we realized that we would not only be driving on the opposite side of the road, but that the car was equipped with a right side steering wheel. Trent was our designated driver and he quickly jumped in like a pro and got us on our way. I was the navigator and thankfully Siri worked like a charm calling out directions all the way to our hotel. Of course our friends the “R’s” and I couldn’t stop squealing and screeching every time we turned a corner because we were so unaccustomed to being on the wrong side of the road. I’ll admit it felt like we had a few near misses but Trent kept his cool and we all arrived at the Premier Inn safe and sound.
I had done a little research on hotels in the area and had been given a good recommendation that Premier Inns were clean and provided just what we needed for a short two night stay in Edinburgh. That basically means there is a bed, private bathroom, tv, and clean linens. There is no luxury. However, the price was good, for Scotland, at just 127 pounds ($191.00) per night and we were so exhausted we didn’t care. The only problem was that we arrived two hours before check-in so we had to figure out something to do before we could get into our rooms.
I had actually accounted for this but was hoping they might let us check in just so we could shed our luggage, but they did not. So we jumped back into our little rental and headed seven miles out of town to Roslin to see Rosslyn Chapel. Yes the town is spelled one way and the chapel itself is spelled another. Curious I know.
With a little help from our concierge pointing us in the right direction and the street signs we made it to Roslin in about twenty minutes. When we arrived we realized we were all a bit hungry and so we ate a very delicious Scottish meal at the Original Hotel of Rosslyn. I have to say even my broth soup was good! Then for dessert we had, hot out of the oven, Toffee bread pudding and chocolate cake so we were thrilled with our choice.
Rosslyn Chapel was our next stop in this quaint little town. “Founded in 1446 as the Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew, the Chapel took some forty years to complete. The beauty of its setting and the mysterious symbolism of its ornate stonework have inspired and intrigued artists an visitors ever since.” rosslynschapel.com
The beauty is the architecture and all of the detail of the stonework put into making this beautiful church. The part I enjoyed the most was the corn husks that were etched into the stone of this building built back in the early 1400’s. Of course corn is a product of North America and not part of European culture until after Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue!! That leaves some to suspect that the Knights of the Templars sailed to North America back in the 1300’s and had discovered America and brought corn back to this region. No one knows the exact mysteries of Rosslyn Chapel but it makes for some very good conspiracy theories!
At Rosslyn Chapel it costs about $15 per adult and $12 for children (my current conversion rates from pounds) and it is an easy two hour activity. There is a guide that gives a tour every hour on the hour so you can sit in the chapel in church benches and listen to his insights. However, he does speak with a thick Scottish brogue that made it a little difficult for us to understand. Instead we found it easier to go around and read the placards ourselves. When I did understand the guide I realized he was just repeating what was said on the placards so if you don’t make it there for his tour just give yourself a tour instead.
Also on location is a gift shop, cafe and very clean bathrooms. In all it was a day well spent traveling all the way from San Antonio Texas to Roslin, Scotland!
Safe and Happy Travels!!