Out of the Highlands and across Scotland to the Borders. Melrose is a family name and a location here. The Melrose Abbey was once magnificent but now in ruins still maintains a lot of it’s original beauty. One of the interesting features at the Abbey is the receptacle holding the heart of Robert the Bruce. The container is a cool receptacle with the cross from the flag of Scotland cutting through a heart. Bruce suffered a stroke and knew he could not complete vow to go to the Holy Land. He asked James Douglas to carry it to the Holy Land. Eventually he set out but He was mortally wounded so he threw out the heart into the melee shouting “go first as though hast always done.” The casket with the heart of Bruce and Douglas’s body was carried back to the Abbey. It is neat to see that the heart is there in such a magnificent container.
The sevens international rugby tournaments are taking place right next to the Abbey. Lots of activity here. Another tradition of Scotland.
We stayed at the Cross Keys. Hotel. After dinner there was live music. I chatted with the guy setting up. He told me I had missed the traditional music last night. Bummer. Tonight was locals getting up and performing taking turns …They were good. The fellow announced to the group that there were guests from California and wanted to hear Scottish music. They all were wonderful playing music specially for us. One of the fellows came over and asked us to follow some of them around the corner to the Cobblestone Pub for a real traditional pub experience…we did. We stayed until 1am when the pub closed. Again we were like special guests. So much fun …They did all they could to make it a great experience. They kept checking …are you having fun? Of course…many fun songs included Scotland the Brave, Loch Lomond and some Jedburgh songs in honor of my grandfather’s birthplace. Near the end one of the fellows said we have to this song in honor of our guests. They sang Hotel California. Funny. A magical evening after a great day.