Saturday, 22 August 2015

Day3 - Melrose to Perth

Date: Monday 17th August 2015
Route: Melrose to Perth (via Galashiels, Melrose, Kelso, Hume and Edinburgh)
Our Listening Pleasure: Hot Rod bargain CDs
Miles today: 150
Total Mileage: 507

Minty and Laurence outside macarts
First on the agenda today was a visit to the biggest town in the Borders, Galashiels and the chance to meet up with our friend Laurence. Currently in the middle of a big project to convert an old church into a music and arts centre, under the banner of “macarts”, we were given the chance to have a quick look at the work so far. 

We have to say we were very impressed and can see the same potential Laurence sees in the final vision. Let’s hope the funding and grants promised come to fruition so this can be completed.

Coffee and Tea break
Coffee, or in Minty’s case, a pot of tea (complete with tea strainer) in Turnbull’s (est. in 1855) and a trip to the local guitar shop rounded off our short visit to Galashiels. 

The Beeb and Laurence

Found a bit of a bargain in the guitar shop which also sold a few CDS and we bagged, for the princely sum of £1 each, a couple of HotRod Rockabilly compilations. The first volume “The Hotrodders Paradise” was our listening pleasure for the next part of our tour.
Bargain CDs

Back to Melrose
The good thing about this tour is that although we have a basic itinerary, we can go off piste at any time and our drive from Galashiels took us past the old railway station at Melrose, so it was back to this Border town we went to investigate!!

The disused railway station platform is adjacent to the road, and has the original advertising placards, such as Lyons Tea running along the length of it.
Melrose Station platform
The Beeb gets comfortable waiting for the next train!

Our next stop was Kelso, and we passed a pig transporter, with the company name “Scotleanpigs” which was a complete oxymoron! 

Our drive to Kelso was through winding roads which, with a lovely hot and very sunny day, was really pleasant. We drove up the driveway to Floors castle, only to find that to even get into the carpark you had to have a ticket. Quick U-turn and a few pictures from afar was all we could do. 
Floors Castle from a distance
The grounds of Floors Castle

The town of Kelso has cobbled roads, and this is another town with a dilapidated Abbey and graveyard. 
Kelso Abbey

The date stone
The Abbey dates back to 1128 and is free to wander around, so we made the most of it. It did look like someone had come with a great big sword and sliced down the middle of the Abbey, with one half with still a lot of structure and the other almost gone.

Kelso Abbey

Hume Castle

Again, along windy wee roads, we came to a place called Hume and we saw some ruins and went to take a look. They were the remnants of a derelict Hume castle.

 Minty did her Braveheart impression under the Soltaire. The view from the castle was terrific – we could see for miles.
Minty does Braveheart
Horsing around in Hume

The Tram

Driving up the East Coast road was a treat as we headed for Edinburgh. We parked in Ingliston Park & Ride and took the tram into the city centre. The tram link is a single line from the Airport to the city, cost millions of pounds of build, was completed way behind schedule and at only £1.50 a ticket apparently has a 500 year payback period! 

We actually liked the tram. In 30 minutes we were in Princes Street and heading up the hill to the Royal Mile to see what was going on at the Edinburgh Festival, and the Fringe. One end of the street was cordoned off by stewards and Police and you could only pass through if you had a ticket so we didn’t actually get to see anything!. Likewise with the Castle.
Edinburgh has a Thunderbird 3!
We headed back to the Princes Street area and grabbed some dinner. We ended up in Pizza Hut as the first restaurant we tried neglected to tell us all of the dishes that were off the menu on that day so the menu choice was really poor. 

The Bon Vivant
Having been fed and watered, we were watered some more in The Bon Vivant, where we met one of The Beeb’s pals for a few drinks.

Having to get the tram back to pick up the car, we didn’t reach Perth until almost midnight. Our drive from Edinburgh was in the dark, so we didn’t get the opportunity to see the scenic drive over the Firth Road Bridge.

Shattered, we slept well!

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