8.18.2013

Scotland: contains castles

Oh hey there. 

Where did we leave off? Scotland. Edinburgh. Yes. Edinburgh was a great small city in Scotland. But once you've sampled some haggis, history, and whisky, you want more out of Scotland.

Just kidding, except for sheep, that's pretty much all you can find in the country. And one great place to find the history bits is: CASTLES!

On our adventure we sampled several fine castles. They each had a robust bouquet and a stony palate. They also tend to be on hills.
Not a castle. Tower: seen from a castle.
First up, we sampled Stirling castle.

Color scheme: Stirling Silver. Hi ho!
It was, very much, a castle. Even had people dressed up in period costumes. Not many, but some. You push a button and they tell you about the history of the castle. You nod politely and consider gouging out your eyes when you notice the medieval codpieces. Instead you think just how far fashion has come in this day and age, and aggressively admire the castle.

Stirling: kind of a hike. You will regret packing too many siege engines.
But wait, there's more! 
Not only can you find lots of random historical castles in Scotland, you can also find one (well, four in one) of the most important castles from the time of medieval Arthur. 

I'm talking Camelot, the temptation of sir Galahad, outrageous French accents, the works! 

Duane castle: filming grounds for every castle ever in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Awesome? Awesome. Made more awesome by the well-produced Audioguide that is actually narrated by a Python! (Fortunately, it's not in parseltongue.) 

Needless to say, it's a silly place.
Despite the deep cultural significance of the castle, it is not overrun with tourists, so it's a nice break from the hordes.

This castle has seen better days: perhaps it was damaged
via Trojan Rabbit assault.
The staff is friendly, and the audio guide kindly gives you information about the history of the castle, and which rooms were used for what in filming. But really, the staff is thoughtful. They don't want their guests to get tired, so they offer mounts for traversing the castle and ground. Yes, folks, coconuts are available upon request. 

Not pictured: me and friends galloping around the courtyard
with coconuts.
But wait, there's more! 
Scotland also contains ruins! In the middle of nowhere and unattended. This thing was a medieval fort that had a less medieval fort built on top of it:

Not recommended if you are trying to stay out of the rain.
If you want to go up to Loch Ness, you will run into Inverness, a very pretty, very small city.

Pretty! Yeah, it's pretty much just this one bridge.
Small place.
But since you've come all the way to Inverness, you gotta go up and see Loch Ness. One way to do this: visit Urquhart castle. It's a castle that was blown up by its defenders because they knew they were going to lose. Always thereafter, the place has been cursed, and always rains.

Well, I'm just conjecturing about the last bit, but it did rain quite a lot while we were there. So did all of Scotland, come to think of it.

Loch Ness is behind he castle. This is a view from the castle tower:

Rocks and water! My favorite!
Unfortunately, it wasn't deserted. The hordes were coming to attack and lay waste to the castle. AGAIN.

Despite the tourist bait on the boat, Nessie did not bite.
So yeah. Castles. Scotland has them. It also has whisky. We went to Tomatin distillery, and I think I figured out a scene for the next horror story I write. This is the inside of a whisky still thing:

Yikes.
But IRL, it doesn't turn into a horror film, it turns into whisky. And FYI, these Scottish distilleries have been mostly bought up by Japanese companies, because they were tired of Sake.

30 something year old casks? I would tap that.
If you explore the highland, you will find the other Scottish treasure: Highland cows.

Moo.

So, dear friends, if you ever find yourself on a road trip in Scotland, bring an umbrella or twelve, and a raincoat, or twelve. Because, really. You will find castles and whiskey, but above all: there will be rain.
Scotland: contains rain.

Post a Comment