Stirling – Saturday June 23, 2007

Our accommodations in Stirling was the Munro Guest House. It was a very good B&B not far from Stirling Castle. The weather was intermittent rain all day.
We orginally planned to go to the reenactment of the Battle of Bannockburn (1314) but decided instead to go to the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle.

The Wallace Monument
The Wallace Monument is a two-hundred foot high monument dedicated to Sir William Wallace, Scotland’s National hero and made famous on the big screen by Mel Gibson’s movie Braveheart. Sir William led the fight for Scottish independence from 1297 to 1305. The monument was built in the 1800’s of all stone construction on a hill which puts you about 500 feet above the surrounding valley. From the top of the monument which you get to through an interior flight of stairs, there is an excellent view of Stirling town and its dominating castle.
After finishing at the monument, as we were leaving, we spoke to a chap who had a border terrier which is a small dog but very friendly with wirery fur. He told us they were bred to flush foxes from their holes.
We then bought some lunch at the local Tesco store and ate it when we arrived at the castle. We were surprised how close it was to Munro Guest House.

Stirling Castle
The castle dates from the twelfth century and is built on a rocky outcrop the dominates the entire area making it a natural fortress.

Once we had finished lunch, we headed inside. The rain also started to get worse. The caused us to spend our time in the buildings and avoiding the Ramparts. Some of the buildings were undergoing restoration while the great hall was complete and had a beautiful timbered ceiling and five fireplaces. The chapel was also fully restored with hardwood floors, tapestries on the walls and beautifully finished wooden ceilings. Lois overheard some people speaking to a castle representative about holding their wedding there. What a great place for a wedding! We also visited the kitchens which were very big, but not in operation, and using wax figures in the place of real people to give it a bit of life.
While walking back to the entryway, over the steep cobbled area between the buildings we wondered how the horses could cope on the slope when its wet or snowy. It was raining so hard there was a stream running down the slope between the buildings.
When we finished at the castle, we headed back to the Guest House, but stopped at Subway for dinner on the way. We arrived back at our room around 7:00 PM.

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