Apr 26, 2017

Stirling and the Scottish Weather!

Day two in Scotland started in Edinburgh.  We drove to St Andrews in the morning and after a walk around town there we were off to Stirling.  (when I type of my phone it has autocorrected to sterling, ug, keep fixing it but I may have messed one here or there!)

The crazy weather day continued.  We spent the afternoon at the Castle.  These 4 videos were recorded over the space of just a couple of hours  - same for the pictures.  When we arrived at the Castle - it was so gusty and cold.  There was sideways snow.  By the time we left it was sunny, warm and gorgeous.

Hear the wind!  It was cold!

The snow was not sticking everywhere, but when we would drive through a valley the ground was white.  So pretty!

There were a couple of castles that Karisa had on her lists that were not open.  A couple of times we stopped and tried to hike our way in.  This time it was still pretty cold.  She braved the side of the mountain.  Serg and I stopped part way up.  All she could see was the tops of the towers.

I have a thing for moss.  I try growing it on my pots and my porches.  It is part of the reason I love the Dandenongs in Australia so much.  And the moss on the white snow is such a pretty contrast.  Moss green would have to be my favorite color in nature.  Karisa is in her green rain jacket - in the picture above.  It could be mossy camouflage.

Stirling Castle is a wonderful place to visit.  It has been restored in some parts.  There is so much information and it is all so interesting.  During tourism season there are actors that interact with you as if you are visiting during medieval times.  Some fun facts that we learned:

While she lived at Stirling, Mary, Queen of Scots played football, golf and tennis.  Guess who else I know that has done the same?  This girl!  Since she is in on the "leggings as pants" craze the palace outfits helped her fit right in!

The oldest room in the castle dates to the 1300's.

Robert the Bruce destroyed much of the Castle to keep it from falling into English hands

There are statues of lions and gargoyles at the entrances.  They each weigh nearly a ton!

If you want to read some of the history of the castle - there is lots here:

The Stirling Heads decorated the ceilings of the castle.  They have reproductions and restored ones in a gallery.  They are carved heads of royalty, bible characters, greek mythology and animals.

The living quarters and main area of the castle have been restored to the style they would have been when Mary, Queen of Scots resided at the Castle.

It was so tempting for her to jump right on that throne!  There were hardly any other people visiting that day and we only saw 2 actors.  We were the only people with them at the time and they kept the dialog going just as if we were there while Mary was......

At one point in time the castle walls were adorned with life sized statues on all of the ledges around the perimeter.  We think of castles as stone grey - but in it's day - the castle and all of the statues were painted in vibrant colors.  There was a very interesting movie on what it used to look like and some of the restoration that is underway.

 Before the snow did stop it turned to huge sleety ice pellets.....  You can see from the pictures that when it is sunny you can see for miles around.  But when it was grey and snowing, the view wasn't so great.

 The tower in the back is the William Wallace monument.

The sun was starting to break through!

 If you look in the bottom right of the picture just above, you can see the circular "Kings Knot"
Archaeologists believe that underneath the knot is King Arthur's round table.

The Wallace monument.
 Just a random 'side of the road' in Stirling.

We ate dinner at the Hollybank.  The owner was delightful, the view wonderful and the food hit the spot.

 Mushy peas!  Yum....

The sticky toffee pudding with custard was a perfect way to end the day.  Reminds me that we have some sticky date pudding (the Aussie name) in our freezer and I bought some custard powder at the grocery in Scotland.  Sounds like a plan for the near future!

Town of Stirling at night, with the monument lit in the background.

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