Stirling

Stirling Travel Blog

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July 14 19:51

I leave Stirling tomorrow for Mallaig. I've discovered that I really love Scotland- a good part of me feels really at home here. One really cool thing is that i really feel like I fit in here physically- hair colour, face shape, complexion- everyone looks and feels familiar. The people are also amazingly nice and good humoured.

I went up to Stirling castle to day and got to see the place where my Grandpa stayed during World War II- it was in the Great Hall. Up until the 50's (I believe) the castle was used as barracks and so soldiers slept in the Great Hall (which at that point was divided into three floors of cots) and they often ate in what is the newly restored chapel.
The chapel is now beautifully restored  (with fantastic acoustics) and in it were three tapestries. These tapestries (The Hunt of the Unicorn- 1495) are part of a set being recreated by weavers at the castle. The originals are in New York at the Met museum and now weavers at Stirling Castle are copying them so they may be hung in the restored royal quarters of Stirling castle. The project was started in 2002 and is due to finish in 2014! One thing that I learned is that in the medieval era the unicorn was often used to represent Christ and the tapestries actually symbolically portray the betrayal, crucifixion and death of him. The detail on the tapestries is phenomenal - on one of them, for example, there are over 100 clear species of trees, flowers, and shrubs depicted in the set of seven tapestries.
...wow. The final tapestry is expecially interesting because it portrays the image not only of Christ in Eden/paradise but also a love story.
I took a guided tour of the castle and the guide was fantastic- very animated...kept imitating canon ball noises whenever he described one of the many sieges that took place in the castle's history. They are currently in the process of restoring the main part of the castle; the royal quarters, so I couldn't go in which was too bad.
I went to the Old Town Jail yesterday- it was really cool. The presentation was an interactive kind and really fantastic! There was one actor who acted through the roles of the different wardens in the jails history-this was neat because it also gave a sense of the opinions of society at the time on rehabilitation and treatment of criminals.
* Note: theft of a pillow case= 7 years


As I've been here drinking my tea and writing (I'm sitting on one of those bar stools at the window looking onto the street), twice a random guy passing by has seen me writing and comes up to the other side of the window and pretends to read what I'm writing, looking very interested, gesture that he won't tell anyone, and walks away grinning! The first time I was kinda creeped out...but I guess people are just super friendly! Ha!

Another nice experience was when I went to buy a new camera (because I dropped my other one)- I off-handedly asked the guy helping me if he knew where the highland games were being held (because they were on that day in Stirling) and he told me. I left my new camera battery there to be charged and when I cam back to pick it up he'd printed off a map of the area and highlighted the route to the games!!Amazing!

There was an amazing bagpiper on the street yesterday- I watched/listened for about 40 minutes and it took him that long to take a break! He was really really good- the best I've heard- and I've heard a lot of bagpipes!

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* Note: theft of a pillow case= 7 …
* Note: theft of a pillow case= 7…
Church of the Holy Rood
Church of the Holy Rood
The boy scout meeting place!
The boy scout meeting place!
Umbrellas for sale in the hair sal…
Umbrellas for sale in the hair sa…
Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle
Note the various roof lines- all b…
Note the various roof lines- all …
The final tapestry of the Hunt of …
The final tapestry of the Hunt of…
Another of the newly recreated tap…
Another of the newly recreated ta…
The chapel at Stirling Castle
The chapel at Stirling Castle
The Great Hall at Stirling Castle
The Great Hall at Stirling Castle
A fake cat eating a fake hunk of m…
A fake cat eating a fake hunk of …
The recreation of the castle kitch…
The recreation of the castle kitc…
The Battle of Stirling bridge. Yay…
The Battle of Stirling bridge. Ya…
The Wallace monument in the backgr…
The Wallace monument in the backg…
Stirling Hostels review
Excellent location, average rates, great staff.
This place was really clean, the staff were really friendly and helpful. The only thing that I could see to improve would be that there were only 4 lo… read entire review
Stirling
photo by: ulysses