Day trip to Stirling
Stirling Travel Blog› entry 3 of 8 › view all entries
In hindsight, I reckon this trip taught me an important lesson - plan before you go. Oh, and while you're at it, plan by YOURSELF! My friend told me that I must visit Stirling, the word "Braveheart" being repeated again and again. Being a Hollywood junkie, I could instantly recognise lots of photo op's in this place and couldn't wait to get there. She also did explain that the city by itself is very small, and i'd be spending most of my day between the William Wallace Tower and then the Castle.
2003 was so different from today. Or was it really? Those days I'd just gotten a new job, started getting good salary and wanted to indulge myself in the best of British fashion. So the first day was spent in city centre of Glasgow shopping all the British menswear chains, as well as of course, HMV and Virgin with my being a music fan and all.
This was also the day that would mark the beginning of my lifelong love affair with British sandwich chain Greggs. Even to this day, I maintain that it's much better than the oft-overhyped Pret-A-Manger. I had a nice late breakfast/early lunch @ Greggs, headed to Glasgow Queens Station and bought myself a 1 day return trip to Stirling.
When I reached Stirling, the city looked so quiet. The good part is that the open top city sightseeing bus stops in front of the railway station so I really didn't have to do much except buy my ticket and get on the bus. The city is so tiny, so narrowly constructed and the houses look lovely. I've often wondered what it's like to live in such small towns, would I enjoy it? Probably...probably not...probably....
William Wallace was our first stop.
The city by itself looks very cosy, lots of green fields, you could also get a view of the Castle at a distance. All in all, worth the 20 odd minutes that I spent on top.
On my descent, I stopped by the cafe inside the Tower and had what I consider till date, my best soup - carrot and coriander. I'd never tried this combination before (ironic, coming from a South Indian, coriander is a staple ingredient for us) and loved it.
This was my FIRST trip to a Castle. I'm not counting Urquhart as one, because let's be honest, barring it's lovely views, the Castle's not even standing straight! But the Stirling Castle was so much more complete in that sense, still very intact and very well preserved - right from the pruning of the garden to the clean interiors and the tourist friendly instructions and setup as such.
I bought one of those guided tours because, as I mentioned earlier, in 2003 I had no concept of what self-guide is all about. The tour of the Castle was good and the history seemed interesting. I will maintain that the history of other castles such as Edinburgh were much more royal than this.
Spent the rest of the time wandering around getting more good views of the city from the Castle, before climbing back on the sightseeing bus, heading to the station and heading back home. Overall nice day, nice experience and the travelling around in train bit was sthg I was getting used to, and liking!