Friday, October 5, 2012

Scotland Escape: Stirling Castle & Wallace Monument

As I'm sure you gathered from my TWM Scotland Edition, we drove into Stirling to do some of that tourist stuff that I hate so much but actually totally love on the Tuesday we spent in Scotland.  We were battling with our umbrellas all damn day, so I didn't take as many photos and I'd have liked; what I'm really trying to say here is that I took a ton of photos but they're mostly awful so you'll just have to settle for these.  Okay?  Okay, great!  Now, let's begin our tourist adventure at Stirling Castle.  

To be completely honest, I'm always far more enchanted by the landscape surrounding old castles than I am the ornate splendor of their bedchambers or the tapestries of their great halls.  There are few things I regard with greater awe than a stunning view, and from every corner of the castle wall our eyes met a truly humbling view of the surrounding city and beyond.

If I were ever to reign over anything other than my own home (and even there, my forces seem to constantly be under siege), I'm afraid I'd have to be called Kate the Terrible.  Terrible because I'd be terribly marvelous and throw terribly inappropriate parties!  And let's just be real, sometimes I'd actually be terrible, too.  It wouldn't be any fun to be royalty unless you were sometimes allowed to throw a royal fit, amirite?

After the hems of our pants were soaked with rain and we'd exhausted all there was to see in the cold corridors of the Castle, we decided to cross the city for a visit to Wallace Monument, which was constructed in 1869 to celebrate the thirteenth century hero, Mel Gibson.  Friends, when I tell you it was SO WINDY at the base of the monument, I mean it with every atom of my cold, chapped body.  A few spectacular gusts threatened to blow us clean off the top of the hill and the guard rail saved my life on more than one occasion.  It was intense; it was lovely.

The monument was closed for the day by the time we'd trudged all the way to the top, so we were forced to brave the elements as we took in the view.  When our ears began to throb from the cold, we decided to hike back down the ginormous hill and away to civilization (i.e. food and wine).  We were, however, pleased to have gotten some exercise for the day and all the walking, climbing, and standing in the wind made us ever so excited to fill our bodies with gloriously warm calories. 

Before we left, Highland Cow, the most well traveled highland cow in all the world, got his picture taken, too.  Skye and Scott have been dragging this poor little guy all over the UK and making him pose for all kinds of pictures.  Though we didn't plan on his coming, we still gave him his own bed at Gargunnock House and agreed to feed him for the week.  In return for our hospitality, he told us jokes and educated us on all things Scottish. 

Now, my dear, there are many more Scotland pictures to look forward to.  On Monday, you will get a gimps at the inside of Gargunnock House (it's cray) and on Tuesday you'll be treated to a little something special/ridiculous.  Until then, be safe, be wise, and don't compromise- unless, of course, it's a really good compromise.  xoxo

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