Our second day in Edinburgh we decided to get out of the city a bit and visit Rosslyn Chapel. This is the one that plays so famously in the end of The Da Vinci Code and they have a lot more tourist traffic for that reason but this was a fantastic decision!! We rode a bus about 30 minutes out of the city to the town of Roslin and then walked down the road to the chapel. It was a lot smaller than we thought it would be!
You can't take pictures inside of course but it is the most heavily carved chapel in England and maybe Europe? It was amazing. They had a very detailed brochure and also signs placed around the chapel giving details on the carvings. Of course it helped that they have a resident cat named William! He slept on a bench the entire time we were there and literally the kids stayed by his side petting him and drawing on their activity sheets while Chopper and I wandered the building and read the signs and learned about the carvings! It was wonderful! Then they had two fantastic presentations -- the first was a chapel employee talking about the carvings as well but the second was a Scottish man who does medieval reenactments and gave a whole presentation on the medieval knight. He wanted a volunteer for his gear and Chopper was chosen. His presentation was interesting, funny, and it engrossed the kids as well -- either because of the presentation or because it was dad in the suit and he kept threatening to shoot him with an arrow or hit him with a sword! Afterwards we stepped outside to take some pictures!
Megan said the chain mail was really heavy. Then it was back inside to say goodbye to William the cat (the kids all want a cat now) and then into the town to find someplace to eat.
This is a picture Chopper got online of the ceiling. It's better in person of course but then everything is!
Abby as a green man. They're carvings that are commonly found in churches - men's faces sprouting vines and leaves and meant to represent growth and fertility. In Rosslyn there are over 100.
Abby built a throne out of these blocks and then we helped them work together to build the arch they were supposed to be.
They were very proud of their accomplishment!
We ate lunch at a pub and restaurant in Roslin and I ordered a sticky toffee pudding for dessert. It was soooo good! I'm on the hunt for a good recipe now!
Back in Edinburgh we walked down to the Grassmarket area for twisty streets, flea market shopping, and better views of the castle!
This is Arthur's Seat -- a hill right in Edinburgh that's supposed to be good to climb and get wonderful views. We didn't really have the shoes for it or the time so maybe another trip.
When we left Edinburgh the next morning we again had wonderful views from the train windows. Rolling hills and plenty of sheep on one side, the North Sea on the other!! Chopper got some really fantastic pictures through the windows!