“If everyone is in Jedburgh is just parking where they like, I think we’ll do the same.” If you can read that sentence in a Scottish accent and picture a middle-aged man that’s driven tour buses for 18 years, you’ve pictured Doogie, the guide from Haggis Tours that took us to Abbotsford, Sir Walter Scott’s home, Kelso Abbey, and Jedburgh Abbey. He was quirky in his own way, and talked almost non-stop for our hour’s long journey. He was full of useful information (and some that was not as useful too). He provided fun stories, unique insights, and an all around good time for our group, which is a good thing, because we’ll be taking Haggis Tours for all of our adventures.
First, we stopped by Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, who some claim has invented what we now know as Scotland, using his picturesque novels. We saw his beautiful home, designed to look like a castle, with its expansive gardens and well-planned library. I thought it looked like the Beast’s library that he gifts to Belle. Scott was quite the antiquarian (collector), so there were odds and ends all throughout his home. I felt that I would enjoy living there, but I would have to redecorate.
It was back on the bus with Doogie. He told us that he used to play the fiddle, and mentioned that violins and fiddles are different. “You know, people who play the violin are posh. People who play the fiddle are more rough. The violin players went to private school and know Latin. They’ve been playing since the age of four, but fiddle players just wake up one day and decide to play the fiddle.” (He also knew the technical differences, in case this explanation isn’t good enough.)
There was a festival going on in Jedburgh during the time we were there, but once we entered the abbey, it got a lot quieter. The architecture was beautiful, and had both Gothic and Romanesque parts. It was built in sections, as not all could be done at once, due to both structural issues and cost. The pictures don’t do it justice. Doogie provided great insight into our trip, which could have easily just been a drive through the lowlands, but instead was educational and entertaining. Remember to learn from the locals; you’ll not only have fun, but sometimes you learn more than you can from any castle or museum!
Emily McIntyre is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship with a Spanish minor. Emily is involved with several student organizations, including UMKC Enactus, which uses entrepreneurship to solve needs in the community. She’s looking forward to studying abroad this summer with the UMKC Honors Program in Scotland, where she plans to explore more of her family heritage and country of origin.
Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.