Naturally High in The Highlands
July 4, 2008
I wouldn’t say I am a history buff, but I know a good amount of English history and I’ve enjoyed visiting many historical sites. Sadly, prior to this trip my knowledge of Scotland came mainly from two movies – Braveheart and The Highlander, the latter being more historically accurate. Happily, I spent this 4th of July touring Stirling Castle and the William Wallace National Monument and I learned a great many things about Scotland, primarily that it is a country of people of independent spirit and pride as well as a knack for engineering and inventions. And a weird sense of humor about their violent and bloody history.
We thoroughly enjoyed Stirling Castle, our first Scottish castle. The H and I limped along at the end of a guided tour; we could hardly walk from the climb up Ben Nevis the day before. The castle is remarkably well preserved. They are in the process of restoring the Great Hall. The day was unusually clear; we could see the William Wallace monument from the castle wall.
We hadn’t planned to go to the Wallace Monument, but it was so close we couldn’t resist. Earlier that morning, talking about our various knee and leg soreness, The H said, “Hey – let’s go find the tallest staircase in Scotland.” He got his wish. We climbed 246 steps to the top of the monument.
We looked at William Wallace’s sword, learned many things about Scotland and enjoyed another picnic near the car park.
Invented by the Scotts:
The Decimal Point, Documentary Film, Colour Photographs, Golf Clubs, Encyclopedia Britannica, The Hypodermic Syringe, Postcards, Advertising Films, Gas Masks, The Thermometer, The Gravitating Compass, Insulin, Interferon, Penicillin, The Pneumatic Tyre, Radar, The Kaleidoscope, Logarithms, Tennis Courts, The Motor Bus, The Steam Engine, The Fax Machine, The Photocopier, Video, Tarmacadam, The Telegraph, The Self-Acting Fountain Pen, The Telephone, The Mackintosh, The Lawnmower, Continuous Electric Light, The Thermos Flask, Anaesthesia, Antiseptics, 18 Hole Gold Courses, The Bowling Green