Stirling, Scotland: Day 7
We started off the morning with a FULL continental breakfast from the oh-so-great Holiday Inn Express and probably enjoyed breakfast enough for the three of us. The hotel called a taxi for us and we made a short 4 mile ride over to the monument of the Battle of Bannockburn. This is where Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, defeated England and finished the fight for freedom that William Wallace set out to claim. The quote at the bottom was my favorite: "We fight not for glory, nor for wealth, nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom which no good man surrenders but with his life."
When you get closer to the larger than life monument of Robert the Bruce, you can see the Stirling castle off in the distance through the trees. It's hard to believe that all this history all happened within a few square miles.
Our taxi was gracious enough to wait for us while we wandered around a bit where the monument was. Everything is so green and beautiful!
After seeing the monument, we headed back into Stirling to visit the castle, which is perched on the top of a hill and is the focal point for the entire city. For those of you who don't know, this is the castle where all the Kings and Queens of Scotland lived. Below is a picture of the outer wall. Can you find Snugs?? Haha, we love this game.
Inside the castle, workers will give you a free guided tour to tell you about the great history of Scotland and its many kings and queens. Our tour guide was quite entertaining.
This is the garden where the royal court would come and get their exercise for the day. There is much more green space off to the left with room to run and play within the safety of the walls.
Mom, here's another picture for you. Gorgeous flowers everywhere decorating the entire grounds in the castle.
It was surprising to see so many graveyards around the outsides of the walls surrounding the castle. Stunningly beautiful though. Even though that might sound a bit odd.
They are currently renovating parts of the castle for tourists and citizens to enjoy a more vibrant picture of what exactly the castle looked like hundreds of years ago. A few of the rooms/buildings have already been completed. And wouldn't you know they would have the great hall fully restored with the king's and queen's chairs! They must have known that JT and I would be coming :)
Here's a picture of the tapestries that have been redone to their exact detailed beauty. Our guide said that it took hundreds of hours to complete each tapestry.
One of the more unique features of the castle are the archer holes. This is looking into one and out another through a round tower. Very easy to aim and hit your target but very hard for someone to shot right at you.
Outside the castle there is a statue of King Robert the Bruce and in the distance you can see the William Wallace Monument. The views of this city are amazing.
After a quick bite for lunch we went over to the Stirling bridge where supposedly William Wallace claimed his victory over England. Then we headed back to our hotel to drop our bags because we had an appointment at 3pm.... The local futball team, the Stirling Albians, were playing their first home game since their league championship last year.
This was definitely a first for all three of us and we really enjoyed it! Although I do have to say I was expecting a little more team spirit from the crowd. We were sad to have to see the Albians lose 3-1. Maybe the Americans are bad luck?? Oh well, we had a great time nonetheless!