Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Spontaneous Stirling Soirée

At 8 o'clock on Saturday night my roommate, Taylor, looks up from her computer and asks if I wanted to go to Stirling the next day! £8 and 12 hours later we were on a train headed north with no other plans than to look around the small town of Stirling.

An oddly empty Buchanan Street at 8am on a Sunday...
It's like Harry Potter!! (That is the default description for everything in Britain)
Have our coffee - let's go! 
The brilliant sunshine we didn't dare complain about!

Scottish fields are way cooler than American fields!

The main street in Stirling - I love how all the building are older.  
The William Wallace Monument in the distance. 
The Old Stirling Bridge sight of William Wallace's defeat of the English during the Wars for Scottish Independence in the 1200s (just writing that old of a year feels strange!)

Taylor and I on top of the bridge. 
And with the monument in the background!

Just a cute little Scottish cottage with that monument in the background again. 
The rolling mountains of the highlands and the sign to the monument indicating we very (finally) close.

I may have a small obsession with this monument due to its similarities to Rapunzel's tower from Tangled. 

See, yet another picture of the 50+ I took of the William Wallace Monumnet/Tangled tower. 

After a very steep climb up the mountain path, we made it to the top!

And the views were totally worth it! The pictures don't do it justice!

The flag of Scotland
Right before we left, Taylor found a walk that would take us through the highlights of Stirling. It was such a great find, taking us off the beaten path to a bunch of cool places, even if the instructions were a little vague. We were walking through town with the next instruction being, "turn at an old road." We're American! Everything in this country is old too us! All I can say, is thank goodness for a google maps and getting a phone with internet capabilities!

Walking down a country road with sheep in the foreground and Stirling castle in the background.  
A friendly Scotsman out to tend to his sheep
Yep, there is that darn monument again! Told you I liked it! 

The walk eventually brought us to the ruins of Cambuskenneth Abbey - the burial grounds of King James III. 

Inside the old bell tower
The tomb of King James III
Gates into Cambuskenneth Abbey
The Church of the Holy Rude - King James VI was crowned here, making it one of three British churches still in daily use that was previously a coronation site. 

Stirling Castle - the oldest building in Stirling and one of the most historically significant castles in Scotland.

The weather was perfect, we saw everything we wanted to, and made some great memories! Trips like this fill my spontaneous heart with joy, but then I return home and meticulously plan my week. It's all a balance!

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