As we draw near to the end of our cycle tour, it feels similar to where we started. Today was our second day riding inland along the Tweed River, and we have returned to mountain scenery. It looks similar to the Lake District, and especially so today because it has been raining.
The clouds were low when we left Kelso this morning, and it soon began raining. The rain was not heavy by Australian standards, but it was the wettest we’ve had so far. By lunchtime, however it had cleared enough for us to see through Melrose Abbey in patches of sunshine.
Melrose Abbey is better preserved than the one at Kelso, but it is still a ruin. Like all the abbeys in the Scottish Borders, Melrose has a colourful history. It was burned down by the armies of Richard II, but he then helped pay to rebuild it!
A low portion of wall remains from the original 12th century church, but the rest dates from this rebuilding. Some of the pillars were added to in the 18th century by the people of Melrose, who converted part of the ruin into a local parish church. One tower is still sound enough to climb via its spiral staircase, and I thoroughly enjoyed the rooftop view.
We enjoyed a look around, and then continued up the Tweed. The valley sides got steeper as we rode towards Innerleithen, and the route became more and more beautiful.
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