Walls, Battlefields, and Castles

Doune, Scotland, United Kingdom
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Started the day waking up late for breakfast. Yup. I guess we were tired.

First stop was to see the Antonine Wall near Croy. Walked up the big hill, met a dog whose bark was worse than his bite, saw some cattle, marvelled over the earthworks required to build this ultimately ineffective Roman Wall, and took in the beautiful scenery.

Next stop was the Battle of Bannockburn Heritage Centre. Visualizing 8,000 Scots fighting against 20,000 English on this huge piece of land is really something. Especially when you consider the Scots won. Took some time to find a geocache while we were here.

Next stop, Stirling Castle. In a word, fantastic. What a great site to see. It’s at the highest point of what was the major crossroads of Scotland. The views are incredible. There are three architectural styles to the castle: medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian. The exterior walls of the Great Hall were recently repainted with the same material that would have been used when it was new, a colour I believe is called Stewart Yellow but looks more like a slightly pink-ish yellow, very bright. At one time the whole castle would have been this colour and it would have shone brightly from its perch. The tour guide was awesomely Scottish, a well rehearsed performer and well informed. The Queen and her handmaiden gave us golfing tips, and the handmaiden invited introductions to our son for her younger sisters; her own dowry was up to eight pounds now, if anybody’s interested.

We finally made our way to our B&B in Doune, Creity Hall Guest House. Wonderful place, I highly recommend it. Karen was our Irish host and was very accommodating. We started walking into town for supper, but after 15 minutes we realized I must have made a directional blooper because we were nowhere near a village, let alone could we see Doune Castle. We turned around, picked up the car, and drove two minutes in the opposite direction to sheepishly find our destination. We had supper at L’Angelino’s Pasta and Pizzeria. Another fine dining experience, albeit not local fare.

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