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Scotland and London, 2011

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Scotland and London, 2011 - Page Text Content

S: Scotland and England 2011

BC: We'll be back!

FC: Glorious Sabbatical

1: Canon Gate marked the beginning of the walled city in the 1600s. Heads of martyrs were stuck on pikes right here. This place is marked on the street with gold cobblestones. | Jerry with an original copy of the National Covenant | Welcome to Scotland! After flying to London and taking the train to Glasgow, we went on the Covenanter Tour. First stop: Edinburgh! | Edinburgh Castle from Grassmarket, the common area of old Edinburgh where the Covenanters were executed, right on this circle. | It was a beautiful sunny day in Edinburgh on July 28. Our guide, Jimmy Fisher, thought it was HOT. Reeses and O'Neills are pictured on the Royal Mile, which begins at Holyrood Palace and goes up the hill to the Castle.

2: This is either Paisley Close (a VERY narrow alley) or the close where Jenny Geddes of stool-throwing fame lived. | J. K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, in this coffee shop, just down the street from University of Edinburgh. | Archibald Campbell (in the grave above) said, "I set the Crown on the King's Head. He hastens me to a better Crown than his own." (The king had him beheaded). | St Giles Cathedral (with Charles II) is in the heart of the Royal Mile. John Knox preached here at one time. Jenny Geddes threw her stool here at a Dean sent by Charles II to use a Catholic-influenced Service Book. John Knox is buried in what is now a parking lot space #23, but the real grave marker is in the church.

3: In Greyfriars Churchyard we saw stirring sites... | Covenanter Prison, where 1200 Covenanter prisoners were taken in 1679 following the battle of Rullion Green and kept with no food or shelter; less than 50 survived. Memorial to 18,000 Covenanters and criminals buried in this mass grave. Tombs of many godly folk, including George Buchanan, who was tutor to James VI, infant son of Catholic Mary Queen of Scots. Alexander Hamilton, who drafted the National Covenant, was sentenced to death, and died before he could be executed - so the soldiers defaced his grave in retribution! In Madeline Church ladies prepared headless bodies of martyrs for burial. | The Church | Covenanter Prison | Mass Grave | Madeline Church | George Buchanan | Alexander Hamilton's defaced grave

4: On the way to St. Andrews we saw this OLD church where Alexander Henderson had once been pastor. Hard to believe how OLD this place way! On the way we went through a little town called Auchter Munchty - typically unpronounceable Scottish name! | We tramped through this woods to see Magus Muir, where some Covenanters killed Archbishop Sharpe, and in retaliation, five men from Edinburgh were chosen at ransom and killed at this site. | Our intrepid guide, Jimmy Fisher | On to St. Andrews... one of the few days it rained. | View across courtyard from St. Salvatore's.

5: The Church... | Dave Reese preaching in St. Salvatore's with his two cute boys listening! The ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral were absolutely majestic! It fell into disuse after the Reformation. "PH" on the road marks the martyrdom of 24 yr old Patrick Hamilton. | George Wishart was burned at the stake outside this castle (above). The oldest medieval wall in existence is behind it. The North Sea is behind the castle and the Cathedral ruins.

6: More of St. Andrews | Mary Queen of Scots lived here for a time. | Copy of an original King James Bible in this church. | Charming little side street. | Shoes on the fence near the North Sea Beach, where Chariots of Fire was filmed. | Monument to the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, June, 1679. In Hamilton, Ayrshire. | And the next day.. . | The grave, right, is in Hamilton, Ayrshire. It commemorates four Covenanters killed outside Edinburgh in 1666. Their bodies are a in mass grave in Greyfriars, and their hands are buried at Lanark, where the Covenant was re-signed. We were impressed with the astounding bravery of these people.

7: Jerry at Castle Ruin in Strathaven, pronounced "Straven". Troops were stationed here to repress Conventicles, but they were defeated at Battle of Drumclog. | Bothwell Bridge | Down a picturesque lane is the Memorial of the Battle of Drumclog, where Grahame of Claverhouse (very bad guy) & Dragoons were defeated in 1679. The Dragoons sank in a bog, and the Covenanters attacked with pitchforks and chased them back to Strathaven. | The lookout on this huge stone hillock warned the Covenanters that the Dragoons were coming to Rullion Green.

8: Jimmy led us across this thistle and sheep manure-filled field to Airds Moss, where Richard Cameron was killed.on the first anniversary of Bothwell Bridge. His head and hands were sent to Edinburgh and displayed at Netherbow Port (gate); his body is here, under the sheep-field memorial, upper right.. Cameron basically declared war on Charles II. He lived just three weeks after that. | Site of Sanquar Declaration, left, in which Richard Cameron and James Renwick "disowned" Charles II. Jimmy calls "Sanquar" "Sanker". Scots shorten LOTS of words. | Jimmy!

9: Jimmy made us tramp 3/4 mile each way across this thistle and sheep manure filled field to see the | Grave of Alexander Peden in Cumnock ("Cummuk"), a leader of the Covenanters who died of natural causes after being pursued by the Dragoons for over 10 years, and being released by the Captain of a ship bound for America. . | Memorial to the Two Margarets (Wilson and McLauchlan) in Wigtown ("Wegtun"), right. They were drowned here, and the bay has filled with soil, but it is still wet, and the cattle kept falling in soggy holes. Below is the graveyard in Wigtown where the Margarets are buried. Wigtown is a town of used book sellers and we had time to look through the shops. | Peden wore this mask to help conceal his identity from the Dragoons. We saw it in the National Museum in Edinburgh. | We - Reeses and O'Neills - had dinner with Ian and Christine Gillis, recently of the Free Church and now in the new RPCS congregation in Glasgow, in their spacious and lovely home outside Glasgow on July 29. David and Shirley Karoon, formerly of Singapore, recently of the Free Church of Scotland on the Isle of Arran, and now of Stornoway RPCS on the Isle of Lewis, were also there. It was hard to believe that we were in this gathering that was praying and fellowshipping, being a very tiny part of what the Lord is doing in Scotland.

10: This is Anworth Old Kirk,a lovely surprise of a place to have lunch. Samuel Rutherford was Minister here from 1627 - 1638, before going to St. Mary's College at St. Andrews. This is very near Solway Firth. The spire, below, is near Anworth and commemorates Samuel Rutherford. | Jerry preached at Airdrie RPC on 30 July, top. Jerry with Elder and encourager Sam Bell. We - Jerry, Ann, and Ingrid - had a lovely lunch with Reeses at the Quigley home, where they were staying. We had SUCH a wonderful time of fellowship with our dear friends and loved Elke's salsa.

11: Off to the Highlands! | Loch Lomond from the train. We loved the smooth travel on the train! | Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous in a Harry Potter movie. | Top - Highlands from the train. Bottom - lane to the road and view from B & B, with islands Rum and Eigg in the background. All public signs are in Gaelic and English. Towns have names like Arrochar, Crianlarich, Arduli, Banvie, Airsaig, Locheilside, Garelochead, and Tulloch.

12: Isle of Skye We left picturesque Mallaig, left. and took the CalMac Ferry, to Armadale, Isle of Skye. Do you feel the relaxation?! | Scenery in Skye is breathtaking! We rented a car and drove the northern loop of the Island. Just look at this farm nestled in the everlasting green. | The rock formation in the middle of the page is called "Old Man of Storr". "Storr" is Norse for "big". One can hike there, but not easily; we didn't!

13: Northern Loop Scenes | Sheep everywhere! | Looking across Sound of Raasay to Rona ond the mainland from Old Man of Storr. | Sheep, stone fence, water, islands, mailbox - all in the same beautiful little spot! | We went by places called Valtos, Staffin and Broaig, all very cute. In Kilvanlaus the houses were all whitewashed, and there was a house for sale by ReMax. In tiny Kilvaxter there was a Free Church and a Church of Scotland. | The very famous Kilt Rock - with reason!

14: Skye's quaint city, Portree - it certainly called for ice cream! Scottish Ice cream is expetional! | We took a bus back to Armadale, hoping to see the Castle at Clan Donald Skye. The shop was closed, but we had an hour before the return ferry to Mallaig to explore the grounds. Can I tell you how RELAXED we were?

15: More of Clan Donald Skye | Back to Mallaig for a night. Great steak dinner (Ann), and Prawns and Cullen Skink (Jerry).at the Cornerstone Restaurant on the square. Walked back to the B & B past this fireweed, with the low clouds and sunset majestically silhouetting Rum and Eigg .

16: Back to Airdrie via Glasgow's George Square | "If you hold Stirling Castle, you hold Scotland." Of course we had to see it! We took a train, and it rained, but it was a wonderful site and day. Incredible amount of history in this Castle. | Two views of Queen Anne's Garden. A great history time line was displayed in the casement, under the arches, below. | Left - Memorials to Robert the Bruce and William Wallace (Braveheart).

17: Many young kings and queens were raised at Stirling Castle because it was so impregnable. Mary Queen of Scots and her son, James VI, were among them. | Behold the Royal Couple! | Right outside the castle is the Church of the Holy Rude (Crucifixion), now a Church of Scotland. It holds 1000, and about 100 come to worship. There was a big display on the King James Bible because it was the 400th anniversary of its publication The KJV was authorized by James VI of Scotland / James 1 of England, who was crowned here. John Knox preached here; Mary Queen of Scots was baptized here. In the graveyard is a memorial to James Guthrie, a minister in this church who was martyred in 1681.

18: Our last day in Scotland, spent in beautiful Edinburgh. | Walkway to Edinburgh Castle, Sir Walter Scott Memorial, Edinburgh from the Castle, and The Military Tattoo (pronounced tu-too'). (Really!) The Tattoo takes place every night for a month on the parade ground of the Castle. Pictured is the Pipes and Drums representing many British services. There were numerous bands, mostly from Europe, but also from South Africa and Brazil, and excellent highland dancers. As it got darker, the torches along the top of the castle looked so medieval! It was a thrilling way to end our visit to Scotland.

19: And on to London! | We took a double decker Megabus from Glasgow to London - 9 hours for 9 pounds - what a deal. We rode on the top near the front - very acceptable. We stayed in Charlie's Hotel B & B in Tufnell Park, 10 minutes north on the Northern Line Tube. The rooms were TINY, but clean, and the breakfasts good. Inga surprised the English Cypriot proprietor by discussing Cyprus! Sunday we worshiped in a Free Church by this little courtyard and visited St. Paul's Cathedral. Westminster Abbey is full of tombs, including Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I, is incredibly ornate, and seemed quite Catholic, although it is Anglican. We were glad to be there but disappointed that we could not see the Jerusalem Chambers, where the Westminster Assembly met.

20: Trafalgar Square | Big Ben! . | Trafalger Square is full of tourists, picnickers and homeless people. It is bordered by the National Gallery, St. Martin in the Fields Church, the Admiralty Arch, and is very close to Whitehall, the government offices. Right ~ London skyline from a water taxi. It was hard to believe we were really there! | This is Hola Paella, and you can get it at Covent Garden, where we went for lunch one day. It was a rejuvenating break from the Big Bus Tour, which took us all around the historical and famous spots and neighborhoods of London.

21: We tried to see the Changing of the Guard, but it was definitely overrated - you have to be at that fence with all the people gathered around to see anything. The wall we were standing on didn't really do the job. This road goes through St. James Park from Buckingham Palace to the Admiralty Arch, across from Trafalgar Square. | Admiralty Arch and gate | One of these guards growled at Jerry to "get out of the street" ~ but we did get a good picture, after all!

22: The Churchill War Rooms are located underground behind Whitehall, from where Churchill directed the war. The map above is only one of hundreds of artifacts from World War II. Quote about Churchill, below. | Lunch and a walk in St. James Park. | Walking along the Thames we came upon this Memorial to the Battle of Britain.

23: The Tower of London is actually a palace, formerly used as a prison, near London Bridge (see back cover). The accused often arrived on the Thames through Traitor's Gate. A Beefeater gives tours; Anne Boleyn and others were beheaded on this lovely green.

24: This crazy guy above shook Ann's hand outside the Tower of London. | London Bridge | London Eye from the Big Bus. Guard at Tower of London

25: We had a lovely last day, seeing more city gardens and watching a matinée of 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Circus (4 actors play 139 parts!). We finished with dinner at the Criterion Restaurant, a gift from one of the Airdrie elders. The food and the ambiance were the best!

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Ann O'Neill
  • By: Ann O.
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  • Title: Scotland and London, 2011
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