Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Super Epic Cathedral Trip Day 1

I have to admit that the original idea was to make posts on the road as I go along. But the hours in between cities were spent with me pouring over the GPS or ‘counting churches’ – a game of Adrian’s invention. Writing in the evening was out of question as they were spent hastily searching for rooms for the night it was impossible to predict where we will be staying the nights in advance. And late evenings – well I rarely had power in me to brush my teeth before blacking out from exhaustion and over excitement.

Day1, start from Glasgow 1730, planned night Hexam/Corbridge
Adventures started in Glasgow. It turns out that Glasgow is a nightmare to enter and to leave and the amount of roads cress-crossing the GPS usually gets it wrong. The first stop was Roslyn and I was a maniac with the camera and taking pictures of everything I could see during the short trip there.

Rosslyn Chapel (aka Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew)
This small mid-15th century Roman Catholic collegiate church became known to the world mostly because of the book that shall not be named. With the fame came the tourists and with them funds. Currently the West side of the church is being renovated and a contemporary entrance with the information desk and gift shop were built on to the West side.
The church looks like a delicate ivory miniature of a cathedral in stone. It is tiny, delicate and fragile looking on the exterior.

Unfortunately I never saw the interior as we arrived after working hours thus I never got a chance to search for the famous Templiers treasures and the remains of Christ and/or Mary Magdalene but I did find a bunny hill with many bunnies opping around.
This strongly reminded me of an illumination from a Luttrell Psalter (which was posted in an earlier entry)

From Rosslyn we headed North to Jedburgh Abbey or what remains of it.
Jedburgh is a picturesque Scottish village which lies less than 20km away from the border with England and is home to the loveliest people. Maybe it is because we looked like tired lost tourists or the people there are inherently extra nice but I thought we were getting special treatment, when we asked for direction we were given the most detailed instructions or we were escorted to the place.

The Abbey itself was founded in the 12th century by Augustinian monks. It saw destruction by various Earls in the 15th century, yet it was the Scottish reformation that brought it to its down fall. The West transept (the part with windows) is used as a parish church.

It should be added that Jedburgh is also home to a castle, which was then used as a jail, and in the contemporary times as a Youth Hostel and currently it is a museum.

We left Jedburgh at twilight which was probably a mistake as the road to Hexam was long and narrow and went up and down through the hills. At the beginning of it we discovered a sign with a skull and crossed bones telling us that there were 75 deaths on it in the last three years (aka this is a death road).
After a loooong and scary drive (during which I kept remembering Jeepers Creepers) the journey ended in Hexam at around 2230 with us having nowhere to stay. Google showed only three hotels/B&B nearby. The first one was closed for the night, the second one asked for a first born (metaphorically of course), the third one – we were lucky, as we later found out if the landlord hadn’t had 4 cancellations that day and if he hadn’t stayed with his friends for a drink after work he wouldn’t have bothered to pick up the phone when we rang at 2300. The Bed and Breakfast was slightly out of Hexam right next to Hadrian’s Wall which was the first thing we saw on day 2.


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