Today is Independence Day in America and, as an American, I always like to mark the day – even though I live in Scotland. Because of the COVID19 pandemic and the social distancing and isolation practices that go along with it, I had to do something close to home to celebrate the day. And so, a walk through the Roslin Glen was in order!

Why there? Easy: Because nestled in the trees along the River Esk is the Roslin Gunpowder Factory. And what better way to celebrate America’s day of independence than with a bit of gunpowder?

Today’s walk (and picnic lunch) was enjoyed with a friend who’d never been to that bit of the glen before, which meant that I got to share my knowledge of the area as we went along. In turn, he shared his wealth of knowledge about the plants, birds, and rocks in the area. (And I, being an absolute knowledge sponge, loved it!)

After leaving the gunpowder mills, we made our way towards the ruins of the Rosslyn Castle just outside of the village of Roslin. My friend had previously been to the castle, so I didn’t get to be as much of a tour guide (which is OK). But importantly, he was able to tell me more about the geological history of some of the red sandstone, which I found interesting. (As I said: I’m a knowledge sponge!)

Regular readers will know that I walk through the glen quite often and that I have shared photos of my visits before. But as those are unavailable whilst my website is being rebuilt, I’ve decided to add more photos for you to enjoy below.

It was certainly a wonderful way to spend Independence Day, although not quite as exciting as last year’s celebration which was spent receiving my PhD and enjoying (too many) drinks with friends. Still, variety is the spice of life!

It’s now time to enjoy a wee celebratory drink before bed. I think a wee nip of Scottish whisky that’s been aged in American oak is the perfect treat for this American expat in Scotland!

Happy birthday, America!