Trying to update you guys is quite the ordeal. The story is boring, so I will spare you that crap. We are up in Aberdeen now, the "Granite City." The drive up here was a nice easy drive with soft rolling hills with cattle and sheep roaming in a few
places. There was even a couple acres of mustard flowers, but besides that the majority of the land was short green grass with shallow tree lines that seem to mark the perimeter of each lot. I'm not sure if they were really lots or that is just how the trees grew, due to streams or whatever. The reason why I'm not sure is because there wasn't any farming or cattle on most of them. It was nice to go for a drive through the country after riding through cities and suburbs. Anyway, lets get to the cool stuff. Our two main destinations yesterday: Stirling Castle, great masonry work, but transformed a little too much into a museum; William Wallace Monument, nothing but amazing! Stirling Castle trip was composed mostly of walking around the castle and taking pictures of the masonry work. There is a beautiful 360 degree view from the castle, which I would expect they appreciated when enemies were coming. The interesting part was the lack of artillery garrisons. There was really only one wall that had
cannons, oddly enough it was the north facing wall. A large section of the castle was blocked off for remodeling; it was the Queen's Quarters. The castle was filled with cobblestone walkways with some areas left as dirt, which is where the guards slept and the gun power was stored. The only other building in that quarter of the compound was a small textile shop, where an older asian lady is making a replica of one of the original tapestry hung in the castle. She was methodically wrapping one string of cotton, instead of the original silk, around one of the thousands of vertical strings and cinching it down with a wooden peg. She supposedly needs to repeat that process for four years before she will be done with this re-creation. NOW ON TO THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND....WILLIAM WALLACE. His monument was one of the most impressive towers I have ever seen. The amazing architecture started at the detailed base, continued to the Wallace statue one third of the way up (on the outside), and
culminated on the incredible arches on top. The top was construced of 8 arches intersecting each other over the center of the monument with a very detailed tower sitting on top of them. The piece set on top of the arches was so difficult and dangerous to put up that no mason's wife would let him do it, so the single guy did it. Climbing the tower was reminescent of the Statue of Liberty, except the stairs were stone and it was even narrower with three rooms on the way up. One of the three small rooms would appear every four of five rotations on the spiral staircase, which are filled with stories of William Wallace, busts of other
famous Scots, and the history of the monument. After taking the 246 steps up the tower it opens up underneath the eight arches with the best view of Stirling. Looking around the landscape, we could see the Stirling Castle (on the otherside of the town) to the south and the University to the north. Standing on top of the tower it allowed us to see the main battle sites of Stirling, which are now mixed in with houses and businesses. I have to be honest and say looking over the side of the tower made me really appreciate why the wives stopped their husbands from setting the top piece. I'm surprised that the guidebooks I have read haven't talked about this monument at all. Now that we are up in Aberdeen we will visit a Maritime Museum and their Art Gallery. Once we finish visiting those tourist sites we will head into the country to stay with old man Colin and meet up with Nicole, Scott, and Felicia. - You guys better be ready, because we got some playing to do - Dev and I are going to the Highland games in Cupar on the 5th and hangout until the trio meets up with us to visit Forfar. I hope everyone is well and I will update when I can. Sorry, I'm a day behind. I'm already in Perth(colin's house). The Highland Games were great, tell you about next time.