2010 Vacation Day 5 [ G I ]

On August 3 we went to Falkland Palace. Before we left I had spoken to the B&B owner Elizabeth and chatted about such things as the "wee beasties" that inhabit Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. I gave her a copy of the Lake Monsters book I illustrated, and she thought that was so nice.

Falkland Palace is an occupied palace. The antiquities and other items of historical significance were amazing. I thought I had been in the Brechin cathedral area before, but it was this palace I had seen. There was no photography but again I may have been able to get some covert pictures. There was also a garden with a giant checkers board. The town of Falkland was also very quaint, with some great architecture.

After the palace, we drove to the Linlithgow castle ruins. These comprise some huge remaining structures, four stories tall. The view over the local river is spectacular, when viewed form the windswept crumbling precipice. Linlithgow castle is located just next to the Church of St. Michael, with its characteristic aluminum “crystal” steeple. We had a lot of fun climbing, and Avery (true to form, wonder where he gets it) was able to unlock an iron gate on the 4th floor. This allowed a shot fo the boys that was spectacular (and totally safe, as long as you stayed away from the edge).

We left Linlithgow castle and I had seen something about “steam trains” so we made a small diversion. It was the Scottish rail museum, but I resisted the temptation to go inside. We took some photos of the outside of the trains, both running and rusted.

We then went to Rosslyn Chapel which is famous (infamous?) as the legendary resting place of the Holy Grail, placed there by the Knights Templar – at least according to the Da VinciCode. The chapel was undergoing extensive restoration so a lot of the outside was not visible, Note the way they clean the outside is to blast with baking soda; this removed decades or centuries of dirt, and impregnates porous stone and mortar with an alkali that wards off the effect of acid rain. Inside and outside the chapel are perhaps the most amazing and intricate carvings of any historic structure. There is a stone column with detailed spirals of animals going to the ark, carved by the apprentice. According to legend when the head sculptor saw it he flew into a jealous rage and killed the apprentice; then he too was hanged. Their faces are allegedly carved into the corners of the chapel, the apprentice’s includes a gash symbolizing his head wound.

There it was to Edinburgh to the ROSL (Royal Over Seas League) house and hotel. What I didn’t know was that Princes street (where they were) was not accessible by car, as the street in front was for busses and taxis only. Needless to say I was not happy with a) Garmin or b) the hotel (for not mentioning it) and c) Edinburgh city council. Anyway, let’s just say t was tense driving, but again I hit no one and nothing. I did park and went to the hotel to find that we just have to park on a side street.

Evan and I went to the airport to return the rental. When we got gas we were almost hit by some bird texting while she pulled away from the pumps! We took a cab back to the hotel and I found the views of the castle from the hotel were truly spectacular. We all went to dinner, where I had my 1300th beer (Stewart Brewing’s Holyrood). After dinner Avery wanted McDonalds, so we let both boys wander down to McD’s.

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