Day 2 begins very early with a beautiful morning that reminds me of the California Central Coast. A perfect sun overhead. Hares run in the field while coffee we sip. So much like home this feels. A place totally known and normal to my heart. There is no disappointment in my eyes opening here.
Out the door by 8:00am, we arrive in Stirling well ahead of the sleepy town awaking.
Into the Old Kirkyard where headstones dated into late last century and 400 years back we entered.. A peaceful and honoring way to start our adventures. Some stones had several generations of family names listed. Many lost so early in life. I wonder what their short lives consisted of.
Down the hill to a local coffee house for much needed caffeination and scones. A wonderful young woman told me about her family, American born mother, and how wonderful she thought it was to live in a town historical as Stirling. She adored living at the foot of a castle, with cannon about, and was so proud of the choice to put a castle on the top of a hill in the middle of a valley. The perfectly defensible location. Good coffee and conversation, nothing better than meeting a new friend.
Back up the long hill to the tourism office. Explorer’s Passes now in hand we continue up to Stirling Castle. A sight to behold.
I touch the door and walls into the courtyard. The countless numbers who lived and worked here. The children who have played here. I wish I could see it all in action up near on 900 years prior.
The view expansive from the tower and walls. The entire valley north, south, east, and west in sight. I can almost see the archers in defense of this space.
Down into dark, dank spaces where items were stored. I imagine all that it took to keep this city in a fortress afloat.
The great kitchen was indeed great, ovens and hanging racks, table for the sort and preparation of foods.
The garden so beautiful with useful herbs planted near, the echoes of children playing and a healer gathering for tinctures and poultices.
A few hours spent deeply in understanding how much history matters to our now and into the future.
Grumbly tummies requiring sustenance and tired feet requiring rest led us to a pub that served delicious foods. It is really interesting seating one’s self and going to the bar to place a food order. There is no water given without a specific request. My kids are being surprisingly adventurous in their eating.
Sated we decided to make our way to the William Wallace monument. I did not make it up the 256 steps into the tower, though the rest of my family did. No shame for me as I became very dizzy going up to the first level. A mix of mild vertigo and anxiety. I had not realized until that moment the old stone spiral steps actually scare me quite terrifically out of my wits. I vow to conquer this bew found fear this trip.
A bigger shopping trip was required next as the house we rented is self catering. Back to Tesco for a bigger shopping trip with the knowledge only we had a tiny refrigerator to fill. This trip took far longer than we expected, food labels are so different we all had to use our brains to food buy. My boys stood in the chip (crisp) aisle dumbfounded for several minutes. As they pointed out, the overall selection per item was limited, except for the booze aisle, which had grand variety. Truth. There were many laughs and some frustrations, but in the end we had a larder for a few days time.
A meal of sandwiches and fruit ended our day. We all fell into bed or couches over the next couple of hours. Goodnight.
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