Amazing Abbey ruins!

Trip Start Jul 04, 2006
Trip End Jan 16, 2007

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

November 26th Sunday
Up and about early again, as with the days so short now, if you don't get moving early you don't get to see anything. It is very tiring, and I am feeling quite flat at the moment. I need a holiday to get over all the traveling, as we have been living out of suitcases since we left Belper almost a month ago, and we have been on the move most days. Anyway we have three Abbeys Brian wants to see today, so we better hurry.
We start with Melrose Abbey which was originally built in 1136, however the surviving remains of the church are from the 15th century, and are of an elegance unique to Scotland. Buried in the abbey grounds is a casket believed to contain the heart of Robert the Bruce, and as you can see by the photos, it is an amazing place. We could have spent more time here, but there is more to see today, and as I mentioned before there are not many hours of sunlight in the day.
As we were leaving Melrose Abbey I saw a sign saying "100 Aker Wood Visitor Centre", and as anyone who has read Winnie the Pooh will know, this is the home of "Tigger" so we absolutely had to visit. Who knew that there were tigers in Scotland? When we got there it was clear that this was not actually the home of Tigger the tiger, but just a plant nursery using the name for financial gain (I was shattered). I did however get a photo of the sign, with Tigger standing proud and tall under the 100 Aker Wood sign.
Next on the agenda was Dryburgh Abbey built around 1150, and is surrounded on three sides by the river Tweed, and as with all the Scottish Abbeys, it has been caught up in more than one battle with the English. It is famous amongst other things for being the last resting place of Sir Walter Scott, and after he was buried here the Historical Society decided to restore the parts of the Abbey that still stands today.
After a spot of lunch we are again on the road heading towards Jedburgh to see another Abbey. When we drove into Scotland four days ago we saw the beautiful Jedburgh Abbey as we stopped for a break, but we were anxious to get to Edinburgh so we only had a very quick look. Now we are going to look at it properly. The weather although cold isn't too bad at the moment, but before we leave the abbey it gets bitterly cold. Jedburgh Abbey was founded by David the I in 1138, and they say his intention was to show the British that he could build a grand Abbey on the much fought over border between Scotland and England. This obviously left the Abbey open to much warfare between the two countries, and it has been partially destroyed and rebuilt many times. It however remains a stunning building. The photos speak for themselves as you can see it is amazing.
We leave Jedburgh with at least a four hour drive south before we get to Elland where we are staying with the Peril's tonight. Anthony and Geraldine have just got home from a week away in Lanzarote (more about Lanzarote in a future blog) but they insist that we will not be intruding.

November 27th Monday
Today we are planning on not doing too much. Brian has to return the car, but apart from that we have no plans. Anthony doesn't go back to work until tomorrow so we get to spend the day with him, Geraldine has to go back to work today so doesn't get the benefit of a day off. Anthony works hard all morning around the house getting everything spic and span, as he likes everything to be neat and clean, so after being away for a week this takes him awhile. While he was away both his daughters were sick, so things that they would normally do didn't get done, (even though it looked pretty clean to me). After the car was returned, Anthony and Brian had dropped in to see Geraldine at work and she supplied them with lunch and afternoon tea. Dolly (Anthony's mum) came for me in the early afternoon to take me to Halifax to see the Christmas lights at the Peace Hall. The lights in the city of Halifax were lovely but the poor Christmas tree in the Peace Hall did not look too healthy. I had a lovely few hours with Dolly before heading home to Anthony's.
Geraldine cooked us a lovely tea, (again) and I will gladly return the favor if Anthony can ever get her on an airplane to Australia. As usual Dolly and Peter have it all organized for us to catch a taxi with them in the morning to go to the train station, (maybe they are just trying to make sure we leave) for our trip to Warrington. We think this will be our last trip to Elland before heading home to Australia in February, and since Anthony has to leave early in the morning for work, we have lots of cuddles and kisses before we go to bed.
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