Today we met William, a friendly black cat that has guarded one of Scotland’s most magnificent and mysterious buildings, Rosslyn Chapel, since he was a kitten. Named after the chapel’s founder, William St Clair, William the Rosslyn Chapel cat welcomes over 190,000 visitors each year.
Syd and I navigated the city bus system this morning to successfully travel 7 miles south of Edinburgh’s city center to the picturesque Scottish countryside and small village of Roslin. Immediately after exiting the bus, we gave each other an enthusiastic high five at our accomplishment. Mastering public transportation has never been a strength of mine and it’s probably one of the skills I have the least confidence in. With Syd’s help, we figured it out and used our keen observation skills to watch others and do what the locals do.
Rosslyn Chapel is just a short walk down a country road from the Original Rosslyn Hotel where our bus left us. It was a short but splendid walk without the noise of the city and the birds were music to my ears. I felt at home here and pictured myself in a wee cottage along this road tending to a side yard garden of fresh herbs.
If you’ve read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, you know the history and mystery that surrounds this mid-15th century church. If you haven’t read it, you must. It’s what drew me here and I’m so glad it did. The stone carvings are curious and surrounded in mystery, leaving much up to your own interpretation about the founder’s involvement in the Knights Templar.
I’ll let these photos speak for themselves, however they sure don’t do it justice. It was absolutely incredible. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the chapel so if you want to see the inside, you’ll have to make the trip yourself.
Before catching our bus back to Edinburgh, we had lunch at The Original Rosslyn Inn where I ordered my first meat pie. It was much more delicious than the haggis I accidentally tried yesterday at breakfast. Yuk! Blech! Ewww…Haggis is the national dish of Scotland and made from…well, I’ll let you read about it yourself here.
With some rest from an afternoon nap, we had energy to seek out Scotland’s best ice cream at Mackie’s of Scotland along the Royal Mile. This ice cream is some of the creamiest I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, and a little less sweet.
This evening we took a tour of The Real Mary King’s Close, a maze of hidden streets underneath the Old Town of Edinburgh that were once a bustling marketplace in the 17th century. We heard a couple of ghost stories and the history of unfortunate disease that once plagued the city. Our tour guide was fantastic and we learned a lot about Edinburgh’s history. There were no cameras allowed on the tour so I pulled the next few photos off the internet so you can see what we experienced.
I’ll leave you with a few food photos from today. One of the highlights was breakfast at Patisserie Valerie where I found Avocado Toast with the most perfectly poached eggs. It was heavenly! And for dessert after breakfast…we split the best almond croissant I’ve had in my entire life.
We found Pasta Carbonara at Bella Italia for dinner. You can’t beat fresh homemade pasta in Europe.