Monday, May 2, 2016

Day 36: Melrose

A good night's sleep in this very lovely guest house - Kew House. 

Powered by a wonderful breakfast Ian and Allan called a cab to take us to the train station--Waverly Station.

It took me a bit but I finally got our tickets out of the kiosk. Whew!

Off to Tweedbank we went!

It was a beautiful ride along the countryside. It was difficult to take pictures out the window, but I will say that the tune "sheep shall safely graze" kept coming to mind!

We arrived at the train station and as promised Neil's Cab was waiting there to pick us up and take us to Melrose. We stayed at Burt's hotel which, again, had been prearranged and paid for by Celtic Trails -- the company we used to book this pilgrimage walk portion of the trip. 

Melrose is such a pretty spot!

We had a quick bowl of soup for lunch at Dalgetty's Tearoom:

We went to Hogarth's and bought scottish wool scarves and gloves -- and in my case a hat. Lucky thing we did because I needed them at the Abbey! It's cold here! And windy! 

Ahhh -- the Abbey!  Pictures can't do it justice!

Steve and I climbed to the top of a tower--

Some more pictures from the Abbey:

In the picture above the different stones going up to what looks like a window were actually the night stairs going up to a doorway for the monks to come down to do their night prayers.

Mary was essential to Cistercian worship -- hence her presence in the statuary of the church and worship of the monks. A statue of Mary and Baby Jesus is on the section near the roof on the outside of the building that separates the lay monks worship area from the monks worship area:

One of if not the most famous gargoyles in Scotland -- pig playing a bagpipe which is actually quite near the statue of Mary:

I loved the various gargoyles:

We walked silently, pausing the audio guide to stop and take it all in. This place has been sacked and rebuilt a number of times. It was in the middle of nowhere--yet this is where the Cistercians wanted to live and work -- they raised sheep.  "Sheep shall safely graze" kept playing through my head as I prayed the 23 Psalm over and over again.

Cuthbert walked here. Well, in all fairness it is believed he joined the abbey -- the old Abbey -- about 4km from the abbey we walked through. But it was close -- close enough to make me feel close to him.

We then toured the Abbey museum and headed after over to Harmony Garden. It is hard to believe all these flowers came up and survived the cold and wind!

Back to the hotel to get organized for tomorrow and to eat dinner.

We are about to walk the way of St. Cuthbert -- a hero of mine. One thing I know for certain is that there will be silence and prayer a great deal of the way. 

Total steps: 10,020 -- 3.85 miles. Good two days rest now for the walk Italy helped prepare us for!

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