Stirling Castle and William Wallace monument
I have been so off my blogging game since my move. I just haven't had the stamina - even just for telling a story and posting my photos from my recent visit to Scotland. I just haven't gotten back into the comfortable groove of daily routine yet. I guess after fourteen years in one place, that might take awhile.
So I'm trying to feel like sharing again - and I've a backlog of photos at any rate.
We stayed overnight just a night in Aberfoyle, nestled right at the foot of the Trossachs. It was a lovely B&B with a delicious Breakfast, I might add. But since we were so close to Stirling we mostly popped over there. We saw this amazing tower on a promontory hill in Stirling and wanted to know what it was (this was on the way up to Aberfoyle in the morning) so checked online and discovered it was the William Wallace monument.
Braveheart (I KNOW it's not historically accurate ok?) is one of our all-time favorite films. We had to go.
It is actually a spectacular exhibit, besides absolutely dominating the landscape over Stirling. I didn't get any shots of the tower on the hill - because it was really rainy and cloudy the whole time. Until we climbed the tower, of course :) The way up the Tower - it has some insane number of steps, 245 or something to that effect - is interspersed with these really great exhibits on floors on the way up. Most of them talked about the Battle of Stirling Bridge or the rebellion of the Scots at the time.
One exhibit in particular was fantastic. It was a chain of marble busts - all famous Scotsmen - and what they had contributed to the world. Basically, it was this orgy of evidence that we have the Scots to thank for basically all our modern technology and conveniences. We really do. So thank you, ancestors ;)
On to the photos!
I almost want to put an arrow on the photo where that famous battle of Stirling Bridge happened. Already a legend, now completely immortalized in film, it happened right here, on that little spit of land beyond the bend of the river, within sight of the Castle (which you can see as a white little dot on the hill beyond).
I took more photos from the top of the Monument - the clouds were just clearing and it turned out to be a nice break in the rain, but the salient bit is that site of the battle down there so that's what I'm giving you :)
The next day we were headed up to Perthshire and the Highlands and on our way we stopped over in Stirling again and went to the Castle. It was properly medieval/renaissance and quite good.
You absolutely cannot go wrong with this spectacular foregate. You can just imagine the sieges! I think it's still standing because it's just too hard to siege. It's situated up on a hill, quite a little trek to get up here (and the most charming and delightful village atmosphere still remains up on this hill as well).
Here is what it looked like in its heydey:
It was glorious! I really am kind of sad that it has degenerated into what still stands today. But considering how many castles are just mere ruins, I cannot be that sad. But look at what Stirling Castle used to be - the absolutely marvelous example of a medieval castle. Beautiful! Inside was a treat as well. It rained while we were there, but I got a few shots of some interiors.
Gatehouse in the Foregate section of Stirling Castle. I always love gatehouses - mostly because I have read more than my fair share of high fantasy and there is always a gatehouse and castle - usually often more than one. Generally the hero has to get through one at some point or another. This is so ubiquitous in the genre I bet there is an article on tvtropes about it. But I digress!
Here is the Main Hall - still in great condition and really even austere. I'm not sure the curtains on the side add to anything - in fact I think they detract from the ambiance of the room quite a bit. But what can you do? I had to wait an inordinate amount of time to get this shot without a single person in it. I was waiting patiently at this end of the hall, gigantic camera ready to go - and people just kept walking all over the place, right in front of me, oblivious. I'm pretty used to it, but it takes me all of one to five seconds to actually snap a photo -- can't people have the slightest bit of courtesy and wait? I suppose not - as I had to wait for just a brief respite of people altogether. No one cared/noticed that I was trying to get a photo.
Oh, would that it were sunny when we visited here. This is a glorious and beautiful place. I could have made such a lovely photo of it -- but it was dark, dreary and wet outside. Made for some fantastic ambiance here, but very dark for a good photo of just how lovely this place is.
And right outside - this excellent and charming Cafe, which was once a hospital and was built in the early 17th century. Cowane Hospital.