Stirling And the Tattoo

Trip Start Jul 18, 2008
Trip End Sep 03, 2008

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Thursday, August 21, 2008

August 21st
Stirling Castle, perched high upon a rock it was here the kings and queens of Scotland held many feasts and celebrations. We have a great tour guide here complete with tartan pants he is very animated and entertaining. Stirling castle is my new favorite it is compact old and very beautiful The Castle is far more ornate than any other Castle we have seen this trip. Dragons, unicorns, lions, griffins, and phoenix are everywhere they are centuries old it really make one wonder if these creatures are mythical or if there is some reality base to them. The rose and thistle are also everywhere signifying the English and the Scottish. We see the famous Hunt of the unicorn tapestry series which have been recreated and hung in the castle. There is a 360 degree view of Scotland from up here it's stunning, we can see the battlefields where William Wallace and Robert the Bruce fought for Scottish independence. Mom and Dad have a wander through Sterling, and a picnic lunch out on the wall, behind them you can see the Wallace monument, which is our next stop! As we return to our car we catch Mom mid nap (he he) another opportunity for a sneak picture!
Wallace Monument,erected in 1888 for Brave heart, Mel Gibson OK well maybe not Mel, But the monument is where the sword is housed. It is a very uphill walk to the foot of the monument , I am pleased there is a bus that goes up. Half of us take the bus the other half walk up. When we get to the monument it's 246 step up to the top Mom and I go up about 50 and decide we aren't gonna make it we go back down. Becky comes back down to tell us that the sword is on the first floor which is only about 65 steps up. I go on up to see the sword. Mom's knee won't let her she has a leisurely walkabout the gift shop and around the monument. Dad goes all the way up! He is surprise by his own ability to do this with ease, it was only last year when we were in Thunderbay camping when I began to be suspicious about his health. A year later the miracle of Gleevac and Dad is conquering montains with leukemia...its amazing! He Is also back to being the last to bed and first to rise, this is more like him as well. The wind is incredible here but for the moment the weather is perfect. Now in to Edinburgh for the tattoo.
I really like Edinburgh, we all decide we need to return to visit the castle in the following days as we only have time for a quick meal before the Tattoo begins. the excitement builds as it was February when we were told the Tattoo was sold out but Ali pursued and she managed to get us the last 10 tickets together. The seats were not great ones but we were so lucky to have tickets. Almost as soon as the Tattoo started so did the rain. We saw Joan Rivers walk by with her daughter and granddaughter!
The show was fantastic! the rain was relentless! We were all dressed in warm cloths and rain coats but the rain began to find it;s way in. nearing the end of the 2nd hour we were instructed to stand for God save the Queen and a gush of cold water poured down my back to my ankles the rain had been pooling I guess, this was not a unique event for many around me gasped for the same reason I am sure.Brady had pulled huge holes in his rain poncho, leaving him cold and wet. We were all wet, and cold and as much as the show was very impressive we were ready for it to come to an end. The castle was all lit up in many different colors throughout the show, I was the only one brave enough to take a few photos for your enjoyment.
We returned after taking an unplanned detour through Sterling on the way home. The motorway was flooded in a few places and the water pooled right over the top of the car it was scary but Dad did amazing. When driving through Sterling I had an opportunity to take a night shot of Sterling castle, all lite up, hampered by dieing batteries I aimed for the shot but could not find the castle. Can you believe it was midnight and they had turned off the lights ! My batteries would not allow me to take a quick photo of the Wallace monument as it was still lit up. Now I must mention that Dad wanted to take the forth bridge out of Edinburgh but Mom and I were convinced that that would take us to Glasgow and it would be the wrong way. As it turns out Dad was correct in his directions and his backseat drivers had added 30 Min's to our tired wet drive home. It was at least one am when we got here. I phoned Bob to wish him a happy anniversary, saved by the fact that is was only 7 pm in Winnipeg wow 16 years!
What a day, and you should have seen the size of my foot! I'm almost certain it should have been cast!
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