Our last day in Scotland was a country trip. Our first destination was to the Rosslyn Chapel, of DaVinci Code fame. Rosslyn is located just south of Edinburgh. This illustrated the fact that we originally had our apartment in Edinburgh, and got cancelled at the last minute. Glasgow has been very cool, but seems better suited to a younger party crowd, and less of the family tourist crowd. That and the fact that our apartment seems to be on the street racing loop didn’t help much.
We knew the route out to Edinburgh pretty well at this point. It was a quick drive. The Chapel was out in the middle of the country, and we could se that it had a lot of construction going on to support the foundation that runs the chapel. Interestingly, they have a foundation to support the chapel, but it is still the active church for the area, and interesting mix for a historical building.
We were lucky, as for the past 14 years they had a steel roof over the building to dry it out. They only removed it last year. So we got a view of the entire building that we wouldn’t have had the year before. We were just in time for the talk/tour. The chapel was much smaller than I had expected. But it was amazing! Every surface of the chapel was covered in carvings, top to bottom. We got an amazing history of the building, and the mix of Christian and Masonic architecture throughout the building is like nothing I have ever seen. Our guide gave us a full history, and closed up with a talk about the ups and downs of the movie, The DaVinci Code. The notoriety of the film brought loads of tourists, which have helped pay for restoration and construction, but it also brought out the crazies. People who think the place is full of treasure, people who think it has the Holy Grail, People with AXES who think the place has the Holy Grail. And at least one woman how KNEW Elvis was buried there (which is completely insane, as everyone knows that Elvis is alive).
The building is literally like the Bible carved in stone mixed with a few thousand years of Masonic history carved in stone. The only thing missing is everything from the DaVinci Code, which was all made up. No Rose Line, no Six-Pointed star, but there was some glue left on the wall where they stuck the prop.
We left the chapel, and walked into town to find some coffee. There was a small place in the town of Rosslyn where they had espresso and some food. The place made a fantastic cup of espresso. Sasha had some great soup and food, while Yulia and I had a bit of carrot cake and coffee. I saw that the menu had a thing called “Flat White” on their espresso list, which I had never heard of. I went up the the owner and asked, and once he found out we were from Seattle, Home of Starbucks, he had to make us a Flat White. It was apparently a full microfoam doubleshot cup, between a Latte and Cappuccino. It was excellent. I will have to start making these at home myself.
We left after a bit and headed out to our second stop, the Glenkinchie Distillery. The distillery was just a few minutes away from Rosslyn. On the drive out we saw lots of wild grouse darting in and out of the Barley fields. We tried to stop to get pictures, but the would zip away too fast. It was a beautiful area.
We pulled into the drive for the distillery, and walked up to the tour office. We got our tour tickets, and went to the display area to wait for our tour time. It was really impressive. They put up a miniature model of the entire distillery to walk through before the tour, with a series of historical documents showing the history of the distillery. Pretty slick. We got a full tour with a small group. The tour was fun, and once we hit the tasting room, we got to try the Scotch. Yulia liked it. I was really pleased to find a scotch that Yulia liked, and we tried sips of a few more, and none of them fit her tastes. I picked up a Quaich and a small bottle of Glenkinchie before we left, then we headed out.
Back in Glasgow, we had our final dinner for the city back in Princes Square at a cool Fusion restaurant. To wrap up our stay, I ordered Haggis, Neaps and Tatties. The waiter looked over at me and said, “Good on you mate!”
I liked it. And Scotland. It was a fun stay.