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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On The Road: Stirling town

After our good breakfast, we were once again on the road.  Though this time we were only going a short distance to the town of Stirling. 

First stop was Stirling Castle.  This is one of the largest castles in Scotland.  It’s made even more imposing as it sits on top of a high ‘crag’ (rocky hill left from glaciations). 

The buildings within the castle walls are very ornate. 

The carvings are gothic in form and represent both Biblical figures and Greek myths. 

At one time they were brightly painted… not natural stone as they are today.

The lion is the symbol of Scottish royalty.  The Scottish flag you see that has a lion rampant on it is signifying royalty.  The blue and white flag is the national flag.

Canons on the battery. 

Some areas had hands-on displays about castle life.  Really nice for the kids (and not so little kids) to have a bit of fun.  

There was so much to see, we could have spent all day in this one location.  But there was a special tour we broke away to see. 

This is “Argyll’s Lodging”, a 17 th century townhouse that was occupied by nobleman who served the castle.

A model of the building.

Detail of the entryway area.

This is Frank, our guide on the tour.  He was a hoot!  I’d have to say he was my favorite off all the places we visited on the trip.

One of the dining rooms. 

The bedchamber.  Somebody really, really liked purple…

View of Stirling town from one of the windows. 

After our tour was over, we drove to the William Wallace Monument.  (He of the movie “Braveheart”.)

It was built in the 1860s and the lines are very Victorian.   

By this point I had a very achy knee from the uneven walking in the castle, so Himself climbed the crag (hill) to the monument… then up the spiral stairway to the top.  I stayed below in the coffee shop, enjoying a hot chocolate and pastry with Dave.

Remember the huge 2 handed broadsword from the movie “Braveheart”?  The real one is even bigger than the one ol’ Mel was swinging about. 

The real sword of Wallace is 66 inches (5’6”) in length… Mel is 5’8” tall!  They figure William Wallace was at least 6’6” tall to be able to handle this sword in battle.

246 spiraling steps to the top! 

But the view was impressive.  The first photo (of Stirling Castle) was taken from up here.  

Soon enough Himself was back down and after he had his cup of coffee, we were on our way to our next adventure…

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