S: SCOTLAND - 2009
BC: DEPARTED | SCOTLAND | 29 May 2009
1: Arrive May 22, 2009 Stirling B&B Gladstone Place
2: Stirling Castle: During a long and bloody history Stirling Castle has been attacked or besieged at least 16 times. Many important events from Scotland's past took place at Stirling Castle, including the violent murder of the eighth Earl of Douglas by James II in 1452. Stirling Castle was where Mary Queen of Scots had coronation took place in the Chapel Royal in 1543.
4: Argyll's Lodging is the most complete surviving example of a seventeenth century town house in Scotland. The State Apartments have been painstakingly recreated and offer a fascinating insight into the lives of the people who lived here during the 1600’s. | Wallace Monument: Over 700 years ago, tyranny and terror were the tools being used by England to rule Scotland. When the two countries faced each other at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, Scotland was led to victory by a figure destined to become a national hero - William Wallace.
5: The Battle of Stirling Bridge was a battle of the First War of Scottish Independence. On 11 September 1297, the forces of Andrew Moray and William Wallace defeated the combined English forces of John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey and Hugh de Cressingham near Stirling, on the River Forth. The Battle of Stirling Bridge was a shattering defeat for the English: it showed that under certain circumstances, where the conditions were right, infantry could be superior to cavalry.
6: I = | The name Church of the Holy Rude was first given to a church that stood on this site in the 1130s. "Holy Rude" means Holy Cross, giving it the same origin as Holyrood in Edinburgh. Its close proximity to Stirling Castle led the church to its almost unique place in history. On 29 July 1567 the infant James VI was crowned King of Scotland in Holy Rude following the forced abdication of his mother, Mary Queen of Scots. The hastily arranged Protestant coronation ceremony included a sermon by John Knox to guests who emphatically didn't include James' mother, still imprisoned at the time. As a result the Church of the Holy Rude can lay claim to being the only active church in the United Kingdom, apart from Westminster Abbey, to have held a coronation.
7: May 23 - Stirling to Pitlochry. Stops include Dunblane Cathedral, built upon a Christian site first established by Saint Blane around the year 600, is one of the few surviving medieval churches in Scotland. Also here - photo's of Pitlochery.
8: Edradour Distillery - Scotland's smallest distillery
9: Blair Castle – Highland Games. The seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl, Scotland’s most visited historic house and the home of the Atholl Highlanders, Europe’s only remaining private army.
10: Urquhart Castle (Loch Ness) The first castle dates back to the early 12th Century and was built as a fortress garrison belonging to the Duwards. On our way to the Highlands Cille Choirill Church - On our way to the Highlands we pulled off and saw the Cille Choirill Church and Churchyard, Roy Bridge, Scotland. This wasn’t in any tour book and we just happened upon it. A steep narrow road leads to the church and around the church is an ancient Scottish graveyard.
12: Doune Castle: A late 14th century stronghold near the village of Doune, in the Stirling district of central Scotland. Doune is remarkable as it is the product of a single building period, and has survived relatively unchanged. The British comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a parody of the legends of King Arthur by the Monty Python team, was filmed on location in Scotland in 1974.
13: Eilean Donan Castle The original castle was built in the early 13th century. In 1511, the Macraes, as protectors of the Mackenzies, became the hereditary Constables of the Castle. The Jacobite Rebellion of 1715 was a disastrous event for the Macraes. Afterwards, the people living on the lands of the Earl of Seaforth who had been the richest in the Highlands became impoverished as harsh reprisals were enforced against them. In the process, the clan system was crushed. Eilean Donan is the home of the Clan Macrae. In 2001, the island had a population of just one person.
14: Isle of Skye: | The Trotternish ridge and Old Man of Storr, a 48m spike of Jurassic rock that dominates the landscape on a clear day. A trip around the coastline of Trotternish is a trip through time itself. This is the land of yesteryear, Gaelic is regularly spoken, and traditional crofthouses offer traditional hospitality. We had dinner at the Flodigarry Country House/Hotel not far from our B&B, which pleasantly relaxed and informal—a good thing since we came in from what we called the “Briolly Trail” but I’m pretty sure it was already an established trail.
16: HIKING ON ISLE OF SKYE | | CREAG AN FHEILIDH
17: Invermoriston - This beautiful village on the west shore of Loch Ness is a popular tourist resort as a good location for touring the Highlands of Scotland and walking the Great Glen Way. Places of interest in the village include St Columba’s Well, Telfords Bridge and the Falls of Invermoriston.
18: GLENCOE | The first historical figure connected with Glencoe was Fingal, one of the greatest Celtic heroes and leader of the Feinn, warriors of Gaelic mythology. The powerful MacDougall clan came in the eleventh century. Over the next two centuries, the MacDougalls managed to build up a small empire in western Scotland. However, disputes flared up between the Glencoe MacDonalds and the neighboring Argyll Campbells. The final tragedy began on 27th August 1691, when Campbell, under order from the King to kill all MacDonalds under seventy years of age at 5 am the next morning.
19: The Clachaig Inn Situated in the heart of Glencoe and surrounded by mountains on all sides. It caters equally for walkers, climbers or those who prefer a more relaxing holiday traveling around the Western Highlands of Scotland. It was a filming location for the third Harry Potter film.
20: BEN NEVIS is the highest mountain in the British Isles. It is located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands, close to the town of Fort William.
22: Narrow closes (alleyways), often no more than a few feet wide, lead downhill on either side of the main avenues in Edinburgh. Large squares mark the location of major buildings such as St Giles Cathedral. Sir Walter Scott (Scottish novelist) Tower is is 200.5 feet tall with 287 steps. Molly and I met John Henricksen here - he was living in London at the time.
23: The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence in Scotland of The Queen, stands at the end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile against the backdrop of Arthur's Seat. | Arthur's Seat is the main peak of the group of hills which form most of Holyrood Park. The hill rises above the city, provides excellent panoramic views of the city, is quite easy to climb, and is a popular walk.
26: Scottish Parliament When the Scotland Act 1998 was passed it led to the establishment of the first Scottish Parliament since 1707. The first elections for the Scottish Parliament were held in May 1999.
28: Farewell Scotland... until next time....