Take the High Road

This blog post is going to be a stream of pictures and some history that I learned on my bus tour of Stirling, Trossachs National Park, and Doune Castle yesterday! Ready, set,go!!

This is the Forth Bridge. It was built in 1890 and at the time was an engineering masterpiece. People used to travel from all over the world just to cross it. It’s still in pretty much perfect condition. Right next to it is a road bridge (because this one is railroad tracks) that was built in 1967 and is falling apart.

This is the William Wallace monument. Wallace defeated Edward II’s army at Stirling bridge in 1297. By 1305 he’d been killed and his four limbs were sent to the four corners of Scotland as a warning to the people what happens when you rebel. I think it only made the Scots mad though.

This is Stirling Castle as seen from the Wallace monument. That section is painted blonde because that is the color of the original sandstone used to build the castle.

Where that mountain drops off is the geographical border between the highlands and the lowlands.

Here is a front view of Stirling Castle. As you can see, it’s pretty similar to Edinburgh Castle. Stirling is an important location because it’s right at the mouth between the highlands and lowlands, and also at the narrowest point of Scotland. It’s the last place the English had control when Robert the Bruce came to power in the early 1300s.

This is a beautiful view from a hill in Queen Elizabeth’s Forest Park. It’s a man made forest (tree farm).

These are “hairy coo” or “heilan coo.” Coo is the old Scots word for cow, obviously. They were chosen for breeding in Scotland because they have short legs that help them navigate the boggy countryside easier, as well as two layers of hair which keep them warm enough to stay outside all year despite freezing temperatures! I got to feed them and I think they are super adorable!!

This is Loch Katrine made famous by Sir Walter Scott’s poem “Lady of the Lake” (yes, the one featured heavily in Anne of Green Gables).

And this is Doune Castle, made famous by Monty Python and the Holy Grail, also featured in the pilot episode of Game of Thrones, and is currently being used to shoot the TV series Outlanders which will start next year. I LOVED being as such a cinematically important castle! 🙂

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