Naturally High in The Highlands

July 18, 2008 at 1:11 am 2 comments

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.

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle


Stirling Great Hall glass

Stirling Great Hall glass

view of Wallace Monument from Stirling Castle

view of Wallace Monument from Stirling Castle

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.

Wallace Monument, view from the top

Wallace Monument, view from the top

We looked at William Wallace’s sword, learned many things about Scotland and enjoyed another picnic near the car park.

The Thistle, the Scottish national flower

The Thistle, the Scottish national flower

                                      See more pictures here.

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

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Entry filed under: Travel, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , .

O Caledonia! Land of the Mountain Happy Happening Edinburgh

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michael Follon  |  July 19, 2008 at 9:25 am

    On the subject of Scottish history and William Wallace in particular, if you ever decide to try and separate the fact from the fantasy depicted in the film ‘Braveheart’ may I suggest reading the book ‘WILLIAM WALLACE: The True Story of Braveheart’ by Chris Brown, ISBN 0-7524-3432-2.

    The ‘Sanitization’ of Scottish History –

  • 2. WardrobeBecky  |  July 25, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    YOU’VE BEEN TO STIRLING?? I love that you both went exploring in Stirling. I feel head over heels in love with the view from the castle. And your pic from the Wallace Monument captures it! I want to make that pic into a poser sized print when you get back home. We need to talk about making that view happen in my living room. I was there in late fall when the whole view was dulling greens and vivid shades of orange, rust and browns. Your summer views. Aw shucks, I feel all homesick for Scotland again.


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