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Sights of Scotland: Stirling

This weekend my friend, Alli, and I went on a small adventure! The tour bus left Edinburgh at 9:15am and we were to return at 6. We were off to see Stirling Castle and Loch Lomond.

Stirling Castle was incredibly beautiful, it was only surpassed by the amazing views that it provided. My favorite was of the Monument to William Wallace. There was a dream like quality to the view. The sun was managing to break through the clouds, and fog was beginning to lift off the ground to ascend into the air. We arrived at this moment. And it was amazing.

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Battles, massacre, love, murder, and a failed flying attempt. For hundreds of years people have flocked to Stirling castle for various purposes, and their histories drip from the walls. One story that caught my interest was the Birdman of Stirling. A man named John Damian, an alchemist in the court of James’s IV, declared that he would fly to France dressed in a chicken suit (this was to be the first recorded flying attempt in Scottish history). One day, in the year of 1507, John climbed onto the ledge of Stirling Castle; the court crowded the battlements to watch in apt anticipation. He leapt. Flapping his chicken wings vigorously, John plummeted to the ground below. Luckily he survived and only incurred a broken leg and bruised pride.

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Side of Stirling Castle                                         Doune Castle

 

After leaving Stirling Castle, we headed on our way to Loch Lomond when our tour guide took us past Doune Castle. This was where Winterfell was filmed for the pilot episode of Game of Thrones; before they changed location to Belfast, and then we stopped for lunch.

Now a side story, earlier this week I had my first taste of Haggis. Knowing what Haggis was I was expecting the worst, basically I thought I would be scrubbing my mouth with soap to destroy the flavor, but surprisingly it was very good. I went the Greyfriar’s Bobby, and if in Edinburgh and wishing for a taste of Scottish fare I highly recommend going here. But it really is all about where you get it. My friend Alli and I got Haggis and Scotch Pie at a small takeaway shop on our way to Loch Lomond, and I will just say that after eating there we immediately began looking for somewhere else to cleanse our pallets.

Once lunch was over we made our way back on the bus and kept on toward Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond is the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain. We decided to do some hillwalking to get a better view of the loch. The views were spectacular, and when walking here it’s hard not to picture yourself in some fantasy world. We were also surprised to see that a small local festival was occurring by the shores of Loch Lomond. We didn’t get to join because the bus was leaving, but we did catch a glimpse.

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And that about sums up the weekend adventures; oh and I was able to pet a highland cow.

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Helpful Hint: Fish and chips are safe to get almost anywhere in Scotland, and you will be happy with your meal. But go to a nice restaurant if you want to try Haggis or Scotch Pie.