As there were only four days left until I had to go back to Germany I had made up my mind to cycle through the Lowlands,
crossing over to the west and to approach Glasgow from southwest because I didn't want to cycle through Glasgow town
again. So for today I had planned to visit the borders and go down in a southwestern direction. I first rode to Melrose
where I had a short stop to buy some provisions and to have a look at the old abbey. Then I rode on to Dryburgh abbey.
But now I have to tell you a story that happened about half a year after this trip:
I was sitting in a pub straight in downtown San Francisco (yes, in the sunny California) on the evening of December 19,
1996. I had been on a business trip to San Francisco and was enjoying a pint and some good dixie music. Suddenly a man
came in, long black hair, wearing a kilt.
He sat down at the bar next to me and soon we were talking about God knows what and when I told him I'd been to
Scotland he asked me if I'd been to St. Boswells. I said I didn't think so and asked him, which part of Scotland this
place was in. He said Borders and I told him that I'd been to Galashiels and then down to Gretna. He only said: "If you
been to Galashiels and then been going on to Gretna, then you've been to St. Boswells.".
When I came home to Germany I looked at my map and found he was right. So if anybody who reads these pages knows Roddy
Scott from Lindon Lea, Main Street, St. Boswells, say hello from me!
From St. Boswells I rode up to Dryburgh abbey. This is a place worth visiting, especially when the weather is as
beautiful as it was on that day. There were nearly no people there that day, so it was really quiet and peaceful. From
Dryburgh I cycled on the A699 to Kelso. There, down at the shores of the Tweed I stopped for a lunch break.
While I was sitting there a guy about fifteen or sixteen years came over to me, and we talked for about 30
minutes. He told me that he would be going to Germany later that year with his school, but alas he didn't know exactly
what town they were going to.
After I had left Kelso the cycling became harder because the wind became stronger. But as the sun was still shining that
didn't bother me too much. In Jedburgh I stopped to visit that abbey as well, but I have to admit that I liked Dryburgh
Just as I was sitting at a park bench looking up to the ruins, big black clouds started to gather up in the sky (where
else?). There were even a couple of raindrops falling down, but despite the dark clouds and the wind it didn't start to
rain. And 10 minutes later the sun was shining again. From Jedburgh I rode on towards Gretna on the B6357. As you can
see by this number, that road was pretty small and there was nearly no traffic. But the landscape I passed was great.
There were some hills to climb, but the view over the Lowlands, the valleys and the forests was magnificent.
On that road I met the guy from Wuppertal again who had spent that evening in Edinburgh with us (he was touring
the country with an old camper). He stopped at the side of the road and we talked for nearly an hour. He then went on to
spent the night somewhere near the Kielder Reservoir (leaving Scotland!) and I rode on to Gretna.
There were only a few small villages along the road, so I rode on until I had to cross the border and leave Scotland to
get onto the A6071 and then back to Gretna. In Gretna there were two camping sites. The first one was directly at the
road on at the beginning of Gretna, but the other one was quite nice. I arrived there at 8.30 pm, cooked dinner and then
went into town and had a pint to finish the day. What I was amazed about was the fact that I covered nearly 84 miles
that day, this was and still is my personal cycling record on a single day.