We have been here in Scotland for one month now. That's hard to believe - on many levels. It's hard to believe because, as you know, I thought I would never even get here until 5 days before we left. It's hard to believe because in some ways it feels as if we have been here forever. It's hard to believe because in some ways it has gone so fast.
I find my self doing this when I'm driving around the countryside going to and from the lessons I'm teaching, and I see the incredibly beautiful scenery around me ......... (repeat fast after me - maybe even squeal a little): "Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod!!" Everywhere I go the scenery, the lighting, the smells..........I'm just surrounded by beauty and infused with such a sense of awe and wonder. My mind is taking pictures of everything I see.............which brings up my one complaint about Scotland. The one thing that really bugs the photographer in me about being here in Scotland..........there is NOWHERE in Scotland - NOWHERE - to pull over to the side of the road and take pictures! I can understand why the cities have narrow, twisty roads, because they were not built for modern cars. But in the country? Can someone please explain to me why, when there is plenty of room out in the country to build wider roads, the roads are very narrow and they have a curb with absolutely no shoulder! I don't get it. By the time I do find a little parking area (a signposted area that is off to the side of a lot of the roads) the lighting has changed, or there's something (a building, or maybe power poles) in the way. So frustrating!
I love learning about the history of Scotland by visiting the well run estate houses, castles and churches. To see something that is, perhaps, hundreds and hundreds of years old - and is still standing (in one form or another) is something we can't do back in the states. There is a lot of history back home, no doubt. But our history obviously does not go back nearly as far. To walk down the halls that have been walked down for centuries here, and to imagine what it must have been like back when people were actually living their lives in what is now but a ruin.......it just fascinates me.
As well as loving the country itself for it's landscapes, it's light, it's smells, and it's history, I really - and I mean really - love the people. We have all been made to feel more than welcome here in countless ways. Everyone we've met (well, except for maybe that one lady in the bank 😕) has been friendly, helpful, fun, and just downright hospitable. I've been received with open arms from everyone who has honored and trusted me by taking a clinic or lesson with me, and I hope I can see the beginnings of many great friendships here because of that. Har was was offered a job with the words, "So, young man...... would you like to work here?", and that was pretty much it - he got the job! Our, and Dory's new best friend in North Berwick is Brian, the postmaster from whom we collect our mail when we do get in to town. He's always got a treat for Dory, and news of the best trails to walk with her.
Needless to say I am looking forward to more days, and hopefully years, here in Scotland. So, to the people who live here and keep asking, when they meet us for the first time and we tell them we just moved to Scotland, "Why?"......these are but a few of the reasons.
The photo gallery below is mostly of our visit yesterday to Rosslyn Chapel - made famous recently by it's appearance at the end of the Tom Hanks' movie "The DaVinci Code" by Dan Brown. It was incredible to see. It has been in the same family since the early 1400s - that is just hard for me to believe. Luckily, with our purchase of a ticket yesterday we can get admission for a year and not pay again. There was more to see than we could do in just a short time, and there were also quite a few people there as well, so it will be nice to go when things are a little bit quieter. The chapel is only about 35 minutes from home - another perk of living here.
This second gallery of photos are more images from my time here on Portobello Beach with Dory.