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Along the eastern coast of The Borders

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 10 May 2011

Tuesday 10 May, along the eastern coast of The Borders

After a nice breakfast we travel more to the north and that means that tonight we have to find another hotel, the least fun thing to do; in recent years we have noticed that it is getting busier in Scotland and we are therefore looking longer and longer before we find something. And it becomes more pricey. For the last two nights we have paid 140 pounds (about 160 euros).
Green scenery, The Borders Sea at LumbertonBut first we drive around through the green landscape. In this area there are still a lot of roads we have never been to before and it is Teije's obsession to ever drive all the roads on the map once. Fortunately, the streets in the villages and cities are not on his map, so that saves us some time...

This region along the border with England is mainly agricultural, although the textile industry (formerly very large) is still important.
Burnmouth harbour Repairing fishing nets, EyemouthAnd along the coast there is still some fishing, although no longer on such a large scale as before. Every village has a harbor, some tiny and when the tide is low the harbor is dry. In Eyemouth we see a much larger port where there are also many pleasure boats.
There are also more and more wind farms in the Borders, but people are worried now that it may scare the (few) tourists away.
Enjoying the sun St Abbs harbourThe sun shines when we get off in St. Abbs and we venture to sit outside in the sun. A few minutes later a waitress comes to set up parasols quickly, not to protect us from the sun, but so that we stay dry when a heavy shower comes down. And that is coming! And if there is a storm in Scotland, the temperature also drops directly 5 to 10 degrees and even in the sun we had to wear our sweaters.
Sea at St Abbs Bad translationWhen we drive away from the harbor village we see this sign (right) with multilingual the text that you have to drive on the left. We are curious who has taken care of the Dutch translation: Aandriving on the left. But ok, our Gaelic is not that good either. Especially if you do not drive here so often it is useful to be reminded. Especially when you encounter someone road on a narrow road, you immediately recognize the foreigner: they sometimes want to move to right instead of to the left.
Covenanters monument Running from the cowsWe now drive back inland a bit and at Dun we go for a walk. There we come across a monument in memory of the bloody times of the past. The Covenanters (Presbyterians, the Calvinists of Scotland) ruled some time in the 17th century in Scotland, made an agreement with, among others, England and fought in the English Civil War. This later caused another Scottish civil war. There is probably little Scottish soil where no blood has flown!
And to the second photo (top right) also belongs a story: Teije wants to see an old stone circle in the neighborhood, but that is in the middle of a hill in a meadow where cows are running loose. And weird but true, that tough boy is afraid of cows. When I whistle the cows, he quickly runs away, towards the fence, on his way to safety. I laugh, but he was "not amused."
Duns Castle garden Gardens of Duns castleWe walk through the nature reserve around Duns Castle. In the 16th century the village of Duns was here but it was totally destroyed by fire (in a war with the English, what else?) and in 1588 the village was rebuilt in a slightly safer place.
Now the park is idyllic.
Entrance Duns Castle Somewhere in the BordersAt the gate of the castle hangs a large sign 'no right of access, strictly private' as we would also do if we had such a castle. But you can stay there and marry if you have the money for it.
A short distance away we encounter a freestanding gate. Although we are curious about what lies behind it, we respect the privacy of the residents and do not enter.
And we are not going to wonder aloud on this website whether a particular castle or house is for sale, because at the beginning of this year we got an email from the son of a lord who asked if we would please take our remarks from the site because his father became increasingly annoyed with the foreigners who asked if it was for sale. After asking he found out they had read it on our website. So we only do that for lords and ladies who offer their hideaway for sale, but of course we want to inspect it ourselves first!
HarbourThen we drive back to the coast and travel from village to village with small, often dry, ports.
From Dunbar we drive to Musselburgh where we start looking for a hotel along the coast of the Firth of Forth. Everyone wants to help us but if we do not find anything we go into a pub to ask. But everything is fully booked and eventually we end up again in Dunbar. Just when we want to leave another hotel because they ask 90 pounds for a room, the girl at the reception calls us back and says we can it also for £ 70 we take it anyway because we have been looking for 2.5 hours now. And we do get a fantastic spacious room.


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