So, like 150,000 other fans of The DaVinci Code each year, I chose to visit Rosslyn Chapel, about a 35-minute bus ride from our vacation apartment. Margaret proposed a lot of our travel destinations, since she was in York and Edinburgh much more recently than me, but this one was my suggestion.
So, from the outside, Rosslyn Chapel is a medieval small gothic church made of local sandstone. Here's me standing near the main entrance, next to the water bowl for William, the chapel's resident cat.
I learned that it was originally a "collegiate church" housing a "college" of priests the builder (William Sinclair, first Earl of Caithness) paid to pray for him and his ancestors every day. It's a reminder that ancient universities were originally run by the clergy.
The main reason it's worth spending a good chunk of a day there is to examine the intricate carvings inside. Despite the depredations of Scottish weather, and the vandalism of Cromwell's followers, most are still fairly easy to make out. There are carvings everywhere. I particularly liked the angel with a bagpipe (in the midst of others playing more conventional instruments). It's still an active church, with two Sunday services, which was quoted as the reason we're not allowed to take pictures inside (buy the guidebook, instead!)
After spending a couple of hours in and around the chapel, we took a short walk downhill to Rosslyn Castle. It was a bit disappointing, since the castle part is in ruins, and what is left is a tourist accommodation when the Earl isn't in residence.
Another minor point of interest is that we got to and from Rosslyn on a regular Lothian bus, not a special tour bus. Some bus stops have signs that show you when the next one is expected:
Edit: Here is Margaret's blog about the same day.