Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 4 Edinburgh

Finally weather I associate with Scotland, rain. But that didn't keep visitors away from Roslyn Chapel. If there are 3 large buses of tourists at the venue in April, that confirms why I don't travel to Scotland in the summer. The chapel was made "famous" in the Dan Brown book "The Davinchi Code." However, it is a private chapel of the Sinclairs. A temporary roof covers the chapel undergoing restoration. Photography is not allowed inside, so you'll have to visit yourself to see the exquisite carving. Many theories and legends abound as to what is buried beneath the chapel, including the Holy Grail.

The group was free to explore the Royal Mile in Edinburgh for the rest of the day. Had the weather been fine, I favored a walk to Arthur's Seat, but in the blustery weather, I holed up in the office of the coach company I contract with and caught up on email. The rain did stop by evening and after an excellent dinner at the Hotel Ceilidh-Donia,, run by Annette and her family, a walk to a nearby estate yielded peacocks, blue sky and daffodils of course. Daffodils are planted by town councils and individuals in every ditch, boulevard, park, garden, you name it.

You can't stay home on a Friday night in Edinburgh. Three of us checked out the session at The Tass pub on the corner of High Street and Jeffrey and struck musical gold. Not only did we get seats right next to the musicians, but a fiddler offered me use of his fiddle to play a tune. I had left my instrument back at the B&B thinking the session may not be open to outsiders. But part way through the first tune, the E string broke and the owner of the fiddler promptly took his fiddle back! E strings usually break when you are tuning them, not playing them, so it was an unusual occurence. However, I did offer up a song later in the session. The session is run by guitarist George Duff, singer Christ Myles, and joined by Willie Haines on concertina and Duncan Wood on fiddle. They played a mix of Irish and Scottish tunes. Pubs close down by 12:30 a.m but a few have late licenses, like the Royal Oak. If you haven't had enough music, they play there until 2:00 a.m.

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