Thursday, December 21, 2006

All around Scotland - in the past 2 days!

Glancing through some brochures I realised that the Rosslyn Chapel - made infamous by Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code - was a mere 30 mins away from Edinburgh. Well, I just had to go off and check out the chapel for myself. The most amazing thing happened on the bus to Roslin; came across another tourist who just happened to be a fellow Canuck from Victoria Island, BC. Then on further investigation it turns out that Joe (the guy I met) was actually born and lived in the same wee-little-middle-of-nowhere-in-Ontario town as the Jibblett! How’s that for crazy coinkidinks??

Anyway, crazy Canucks aside the ride to Roslin was quite lovely! The weather was totally cooperative for a change and the way to Roslin was lined with rolling Scottish countryside and tranquil village scenes that I thought only existed in idyllic pictures or a movie set. After about 30 mins of meandering around the countryside, the bus dropped us off on main street Roslin – also the only street in Roslin! A quick 15 min walk later I was at the quaint Rosslyn Chapel. All conspiracy theories aside, the trip was totally worth it. The chapel is one of the most intricate works of architecture that I have ever seen a wee little chapel. I must have spent about 2 hours in there just trying to soak it all in. The chapel is currently under some much needed renovations and they have scaffolding all around the outer walls and roof. What would normally have been a bummer, turned out to be quite an experience as I was able to climb the scaffolding and actually walk around the entire chapel to take an up close look at some of the stunningly carved outer walls and a chance to take in some more of the beautiful country side.

Met my new Canuck friend back at the little pub in the village and we had just enough time to grab a quick pint before we rushed out to catch the bus back to Edinburgh. Should have stayed and had another though coz the bus apparently worked on its own schedule and turned up almost 45 mins past its due time leaving us all out in the cold and freezing our collective tails off!

Got back to Glasgow and Very Best Friend’s place just in time for a quite bite before we both headed into the city centre and met up with some of her friends for a couple o pints and some laughs. Forgot to take my camera with me, so no pics unfortunately but we’re meeting up again Friday as they’re arranging for me to have a full on traditional Haggis lunch! Somehow I have the feeling they’re all going to take the Mickey outta me and will laugh like silly when they finally tell me just what all has gone into the meal!

After the past two days of intense sightseeing, it was nice to just sleep in a bit on Wednesday and not have to rush around madly to catch trains and busses! Once we finally rolled out of bed and got going, we made our way to the west end of the city to see the “Tall Ship” the Glenlee and had a wonderful time delving into some of Glasgow’s nautical and merchant navy history.

One of the things on my “wish list” was to go to Loch Ness, but as VBF pointed out it was quite a trek up to Inverness and suggested a trip to the much closer Loch Lomond instead. So off we went today. That involved another long bus ride winding in and around all sorts of tiny towns giving me a nice insight into country Scottish life. The initial plan was to go on to Luss a tiny village along the western shores of Loch Lomond and has the distinction of being one of Britain’s most well preserved and maintained “heritage” villages. Unfortunately the weather didn’t hold out long enough and the clouds rolled in while we were still in Balloch on the south shores of the Loch. I knew that it would be near impossible to get any decent pics as the light was total crap and we decided to head back to the city instead and go check out the Gallery of Modern Art or GoMA.

Watching the news tonight brought a nasty surprise as well. Apparently the dense fog around London has been playing havoc with flights to Heathrow and Gatwick and causing huge delays and backups all over the country. It looks like my flight on Saturday will more than likely be either postponed or cancelled altogether. I now have to make a decision about whether or not to tango with fate on Saturday or just postpone going to London until after Christmas. VBF is supposed to be spending Christmas at her boyfriend's place with his family. Guess they should be prepared to set an extra place at the table!


Jo said...

sounds like a fun trip so far.

merry xmas and happy new year!


craig said...

Nix Nix Nix... It is the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island. Not Victoria Island. Your punishment...drink 3 warm beer.

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