/ Scotland2016

Tom Hanks and the Knights Templar

It's mid-April and the wind is bitter still. Enough is enough, let's have some warmth. No, the forecast suggests even colder nights to come before the daytime temperatures eventually reach double figures.Before we leave Berwick, like Basil Fawlty, I feel I must mention the war. There is a rumour doing the rounds that Berwick is still at war with Germany. Totally false! The rumour should be that it is still at war with Russia, also false but not as false!The story goes like this, back in the day, Berwick changed hands so often that proclamations often said "Great Britain, Ireland, Berwick-upon-Tweed and all British Dominions". It is purported that the declaration of war against Russia in the Crimea was so worded. However the Treaty of Paris neglected to include the Berwick bit leaving the town still at war.Subsequent checks by the Foreign Office have proven this to be nothing more than rumour but not before Robert Knox the then mayor of Berwick met with Russian Officials in 1966 to sign a peace treaty, " just in case ". Apparently Knox told the officials " Please tell the Russian people they can sleep peacefully in their beds".Anyway let's leave Berwick and head to Edinburgh. Not hammering along the A1 but let's take the coastal route out through Eynemouth and Dunbar and past all those seaside links golf courses. Passing the very impressive Bass Rock, a jagged vertical block menacing just off shore. Pity the weather is drizzly, would have made a nice photograph. Mind you coming over the top of some hills in mist and suddenly seeing a huge wind farm just off the road was impressive. The huge towers loomed up out of the gloom quite menacingly.Dan Brown probably did Roslyn Chapel an incredible favour by featuring it in The Da Vinci Code. It now gets hundreds of thousands of tourists a year from all over the world. But what a well deserved visit it is! The chapel is unique. Quite small, part of an unfinished larger church it probably houses more carvings than any grand cathedral. And what carvings they are, fantastically ornate, depicting Bible characters, angels, moral tales, Green Men, the founder himself, plants including something purported to be maize - several decades before Columbus's trip to America! No wonder the legends abound. An excellent interpretation room has been built alongside with some state of the art graphics explaining the history, building process, and interpretation of some of the sculpted works. No photography inside, and a bitter, bitter wind outside means we can't share as much of the visual experience as we would have liked.Now safely tucked up in Edinburgh with the van's heater on!