The first stop in Scotland was Jedburgh. Jedburgh is famous for being the place where Mary Queen of Scots was nursed back to health in 1566. In October 1566, James Hepburn, the fourth Earl of Boswell, lay wounded at Hermitage Castle after a fight he had with border rievers. When news of this came to the ears of Mary Queen of Scots, who was holding court in the nearby Jedburgh, she dropped everything and rode with a small retinue to be by his side.

Because she was still married to Henry Stuart she could not stay overnight at the Castle, lest she ruin her reputation. So, after visiting for a few hours she returned to Jedburgh, which was 40 miles away. En route she stumbled into a marsh and fell ill. She made it back to Jedburgh where she was nursed back to health in what is now known as the Mary Queen of Scots House.

The border abbey at Jedburgh is now in ruins, but there is enough of it remaining to get the feeling of how imposing it must have been in its time. Inside the walls are memorials and tributes to people who died centuries ago; one for Mary Elizabeth the Baroness Stratheden who was born in 1706 and died in 1860, making her 154 years old. We figure this was a typo on the stone and that she was probably born in 1796.

The town of Jedburgh is amazing: small, cute and exactly how I pictured Scotland. We wandered though a little graveyard that the town had built up around. Graves were falling all over the place becoming a part of the scenery like the buildings and the trees. I can’t get over how green the town is (and Scotland in general). Once you are out of the border lands it is quite soft and plush. Spongy is a word that comes to mind.

Jedburgh Wool Mill and Lunch

After the abbey we popped into the wool mill where we picked up a swhack of sweaters and we had a spot of lunch. I am already in love with my Scottish sweaters. Our first introduction to the food was interesting; of course, there is haggis and also every type of meat imaginable served up with potatoes and corn. It would be hard to be a vegetarian in this country. For lunch I opted for the squishy white bread sandwich smothered in very yellow butter bacon and ham. Mmmm Scottish.

I don’t know what it is, perhaps it is the type of dairy products or butter in the food, but there is a certain taste to everything that reminds me of Nova Scotia. This isn’t really a taste that I liked as a child so I after a few bites I opted for Hoola Hoops (over the Real McCoy and Walker’s Crisps). Scotland is also famous for its toffee and butter fudge.