After two straight weeks of glorious, inexplicable, and (probably) unprecedented sun, it has indeed begun to rain. And get quite cold. The forecast for the next two weeks is just rain, rain, and more rain. But it wouldn’t be Scotland without rain and cold! In a similar vein, our trip to Linlithgow and Stirling yesterday with the Pomona group was appropriately cold and wet. Tom was unable to come with us, but we had Jim as our trusty guide. With me wrapped up in my wool scarf, woolen socks, boots, gloves, and my big coat, we set off into the wild beyond!
First stop: Linlithgow Palace, built throughout the 13th to 17th centuries as a fort and then a royal residence. Although it is now a ruin, it once “dominated the landscape,” as Jim told us. And I could see that! It’s over 5 stories high, full of room on top of room. Imagine seeing that in the 1600s.
We also stopped by the Antonine Wall at a couple spots, one of which was one of the most preserved areas. The wall of dirt coming up from the giant ditch the Romans dug was like a cliff! I wouldn’t have been able to fight off violent Romans AND climb up that wall at the same time, personally. We saw the Falkirk Wheel, watched it turn a couple times, and then off to Stirling Castle.
Stirling Castle was not what I expected – it’s been recently restored to it’s original state in the 1500s when it was built by James V. And all I gotta say is…. he did not have good taste. The painted carvings and walls seemed so gaudy in comparison to the darker, worn castles I’m used to. I had a hard time with the “honeycomb” plaster on one of the building that apparently used to be on all of them. So strange…. I guess not everything was as dark and mysterious back then as I want to think.
Overall, really good day. We all had fun acting like obnoxious American tourists (I mean, if you have an excuse, why not??). Danielle went to the amazing effort to film and then compile the day into an adorable video, so if you wanna see what we wandered about doing all day, check it out! It makes me so happy to watch it! Everything seems so much more fun when you set it to sentimental music.