It’s strange how when you move to a place, even if it’s beautiful and exotic, it quickly becomes pedantic. Instead of seeing stone oozing with historical significance like I did when I was a tourist in Edinburgh, I now think in terms of distances to Tesco and the post office and how someone inconveniently plonked that medieval castle right in my way! Tsk, tsk, Lar. Tsk, tsk.
Obviously I am in dire need of a cure for my jaded brain in the form of consistent doses of Scottish adventures! So Sunday morning I dragged our grumpy bones out of bed to visit Rosslyn Chapel just seven miles south of Edinburgh.
A little warning when visiting: the chapel has been clobbered with lots of Da Vinci Code brewhaha (according to the book it is the resting place of the Holy Grail). I 100% urge you to ignore any Dan Brown mutterings in your head when you visit and just soak in the beauty of the intricately carved stone-work. It is my all-time favorite chapel. I love the wee size and the expressive carvings of people and flowers. I’d seriously take it over the Sistene Chapel and Sainte Chapelle in Paris. Some people might argue that’s like comparing apples to oranges, but what if you think “this is neither apple nor orange, but an oranapple!” That’s what Rosslyn Chapel is, an oranapple — the most delicious of all fruits.
Right below the
tasty touristy chapel, tucked in the wooded glen at it’s feet, is the ruins of Roslin Castle. The original structure is much older than the chapel and it looks like something out of Arthurian legend. Another perk; very few Da Vinci fans give a hoot about the castle, so it’s free (but not far) from the maddening crowds.
Ahhhh it feels so good to be a tourist again! Next up? Edinburgh Farmers Market.
Remember when we went to Rosslyn in 2004? I loved, loved, loved the chapel and the quiet rolling hills that surround it. Eight years later and it now has a sizable information center attached to it (with a café!) and the chapel was so crowded Matt and I had to skirt around people muttering about spiritual vibrations they felt in the stone. It’s a very different experience post-Dan Brown. I’m glad more people know about it and the chapel has money to be restored, but it was harder to feel all googly-eyed when you are being elbowed by people looking for a glimpse of the holy grail. There’s something very not holy about that.
That said, next time you are here, I will totally take you back to the town of Roslin so that we can go walk around the old ruins of the castle. It is beeeeyootiful and very quiet (I sound like a cranky old lady waving her cane at the rambunctious young whipper snappers and their guide books).
When is a good day for a skype lunch break? Maybe sometime today after my doctors appointment?
Miss you oooodles and schnoooodles,