Bloggy McBlogface #2 – Rosslyn Chapel and the Royal Yacht Britannia

This post is part #2 of our tour of Scotland this summer, from Edinburgh to Balnakeil in the north west corner of Scotland and back to Glasgow.

I’d always wanted to visit Rosslyn Chapel – and the Royal Yacht Britannia, and that’s exactly what we did.

I was intrigued to compare the actual chapel to the scenes from the movie – but was disappointed to discovered they only filmed the scene in the crypt there. So no cabalistic signs, Knights Templar or hidden symbols connecting the chapel to the Virgin Mary, but lots to see, otherwise.  The chapel is full of the most  amazing  carvings, including a frieze of maize or Indian Corn surrounding a window. This was constructed fifty years before Columbus discovered America in 1492 – so, go figure, as they say.

(sadly, no internal photos so you’ll have to go to the website for those.) Here are my photos . . . click on each one for a description.

If you arrive before 11am you can join the FREE guided tour, which is well worth it. The guide said that the chapel was falling down around their ears and they prayed for a miracle. God sent them one in the shape of Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code. Now the chapel is being preserved for posterity. Great cafe, too, in case you wondered.

The Royal Yacht Britannia – well worth the money

We spent a very happy three hours looking round the RY Britannia. With our headsets we explored the yacht at our own pace and you really do have ‘access to all areas’, including HM’s bedroom.  Parking is free and the tour cost £13.50. Amazingly, the yacht is moored at the end of the Britannia Shopping Mall, Leith and, if at the end of your time you still have energy, there’s a great shopping centre there, too.  Here are the pics . . . click on each one for a description. Of course, being us, the tour started in the restaurant where we had tea and scones (not silly prices, either).

2016-06-18 11.47.48

tea and scones, anyone?

We spent a lot of time practising saying: The Leith Police dismisseth us, in order to prove we were sober, so we felt we’d earned our tea break.

We’ve spent many summer on the Isle of Wight and the ferry took us past the Royal Yacht moored off Cowes in the Solent. It was sad to see this grand old lady moored next to a shopping centre, IMHO, but at least we had a chance to look round which otherwise would have been denied to us. Of course, we were interested to see the bedroom and sitting rooms and they were all of show, along with boiler rooms etc.

Everything is very simple and pared back. Apparently, Her Maj rejected for the first set of plans for being ‘too grand’, she wanted a ‘country house interior’, and that’s what she got. As I was peering into Charles and Diana’s bedroom – the only one with a double bed, which Charles ordered specially for their honeymoon – the ladies behind me were quite vocal on their opinion of ‘how he done her wrong,’ even after all this time.

The yacht had to be functional as well as ceremonial and it had its own laundry, dentist’s surgery, operating theatre and sick bay. You can see why everything has to be ‘shipshape and Bristol fashion,’ can’t you?

The lone figure at the end of the pier is an Antony Gormley sculpture (creator of the Angel of the North et al) and was is life-like that, apparently,  people keep ringing the police thinking someone’s about to throw himself into  the Firth of Forth.2016-06-18 12.16.25

I hope you’ve enjoyed my second blog post and that you may be tempted to visit Edinburgh and East Lothian for yourself. Scotland is a fascinating, beautiful, mystical country and has something for everyone. Next time, we’ll travel across the Forth Road Bridge and head for Inverness, Culloden and the Black Isle. I hope you’ll travel with me. In the meantime, do check out my novels on Amazon and feel free to sign up for my newsletter.

 

 

I can’t leave Edinburgh without sharing the last four photographs taken by author Helen Barrell who took Tall, Dark and Kilted back to its roots in Scotland. Thanks Helen!

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About Lizzie Lamb

I write contemporary women's fiction mostly based in Scotland with hot heroes, feisty heroines and always a happy ending. Along with three other authors - Adrienne Vaughan, June Kearns and Margaret Cullingford - I formed the New Romantics Press under which all our books are published.

Posted on September 10, 2016, in Lizzie's Scribbles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Such a great blog post, Lizzie!
    As I told you so many times, it makes me want to plan a visit to Scotland soon 🙂
    Thank you for sharing with us!
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on New Romantics Press and commented:

    Part #2 of our #Scottish Road trip this summer. This time, Rosslyn Chapel (Da Vinci Code) and the RY Britannia. Afternoon Tea anyone?

    Like

  3. Really interesting blog Lizzie. X

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post and photos, Lizzie. We’re heading to Edinburgh in a couple of weeks time and are now going to fit in a visit to Rosslyn Chapel. Apparently it will be 10 years since the Da Vinci Code movie was released, during the weekend we’re there. So huge thanks for sharing. X

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    • Rae, you’ll enjoy it, I know. Make sure you’re in the front ‘pew’ when the guide gives the talk. He/she points out all the interesting sculptures, although I had to ask where the ‘elephant’ was!!

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  5. Wow! Super time you had Lizzie. Great places you visited. No wonder you were inspired to write book 4.

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  6. Brilliant blog, Lizzie. I’m visiting Edinburgh for a couple of days soon, so this has really whet my appetite. Great pictures!

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    • Jan – a pair of comfy shoes and you’ll be good to go. The RYB is great if its raining and, of course, you can explore the Leith shopping centre afterwards.

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  7. A lovely post, Lizzie.
    It makes me want to head north immediately or stow away on your next trip! No wonder you’re so inspired.

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  8. Very interesting post, Lizzie. Looks like a great trip! Goodness, those funny little single beds for the Queen and D of E! And Rosslyn Chapel I MUST visit sometime. Was the atmosphere good – I’m thinking spirits of history within the stone?!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for the memories. My grandfather was born near there. I have been intending to revisit for ages. Apart from the history, a lovely part of the country. Carry on writing and blogging, Maggie .

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such an interesting blog, Lizzie. So much history and culture … and yet why am I still more fascinated by Charles and Di’s story?? Lol. Seriously, a trip to the RY Britannia is definitely called for 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, listening to the comments as we stood gazing at the ill-fated double bed, Camilla would be lucky to make queen – if those
      good ladies had anything to do with it!

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  11. Loving this, I am beguiled by that beautiful yacht. I believe everyone is once they have been aboard, she has her own mysterious magic! A bit like your books Lizzie. Brilliant work. X

    Liked by 1 person

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