Rosslyn Chapel and Stirling Castle

I woke to up to sunshine in Roslin and what more can you ask for in a country where it rains a lot? I was happy at least for about ten minutes while contemplating to get up. Finally I left my warm bed and headed to the shower only to stand clueless in front of it, wondering how I could turn on the water.

shower in Roslin

I’m sure you look at this contraption now too and wonder how to open the water. I even went so far to go down to reception twice to ask but a guesthouse doesn’t have 24hours service. In the end I only had a ‘French shower’ and that was enough for the day. I later learned that there was a rope outside the shower (which I saw and pulled a bit but was afraid the ceiling would come down with it), which I should have pulled hard to get the water going. Interesting shower, in any case I recommended a short note next to the rope for non-Scottish travelers.

We started the day with breakfast in Dolly’s tea room which is conveniently a part of the guesthouse. I had an Espresso (bad idea) and a scone with clotted cream and jam (the very best idea) before we started with our visit to Rosslyn Chapel. By then the weather had changed twice, going from sunshine to rain and back again. Or everything at once.

Dolly’s tea room in Roslin

The ticket included a guided tour and the first one started at 10am. Of course we missed the beginning but could hear the rest in the Chapel. The outside was decorated with figures and statues, but not as well restored as was the Chapel inside. The detailed carvings inside were rich and vivid and the two mighty pillars in front especially beautiful. No pictures were allowed on the inside but I managed to sneak one anyway.

With only a slight misunderstanding with ‘Lola’, our navigation system, we arrived in Stirling but stopped first at the Battle of Bannockburn Visitors Center. While going there we passed the Kelpies on the motorway. They looked already impressive from the wrong side. The weather was changing constantly and the best part about it was the amazing rainbow we saw.

Rainbow over the highway

passing the Kelpies

Bannockburn

At the Visitors Center we learned that you could take part in a 3D battle but that time slots were mostly pre-booked online so we would have to wait an hour. Not really in the mood for that we headed outside and braved the winds to see a magnificent monument with a statue of Robert the Bruce.

Memorial cairn @Bannockburn

Robert the Bruce monument @Bannockburn

Then finally we headed into Stirling, parked the car amidst discussions if you can drive against a one way and started photo shooting. My best model was the ever-youthful X.

Boys will be boys

First stop was the Church of the Holy Rude which looked empty in a good way and didn’t charge an entrance fee. Instead we were asked for donations with a minimum amount given. Felt way better about paying this.

cemetery @Stirling

Stirling

The Castle had another Robert the Bruce statue in front and an amazing view on the Wallace monument.

Robert the Bruce @Stirling

view on Wallace monument @Stirling

We got our tickets and learned that the guided tour which was included had just started. Very sorry that we couldn’t catch up with it. So instead we walked around on our own and had a good look in every nook and corner.

Stirling Castle

cemetery below Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Great Hall in Stirling Castle

In a lot of rooms were dressed-up employees who explained the decorations. I was especially astonished by the gaudy colors but was told that they show the rooms in their correct former splendor. The brighter the colors the richer the Lord. Overall it gave the place a grotesque feeling.

wooden ceiling in Stirling Castle

original wooden ceiling decorations

Stirling was on my must-see list before and I was thoroughly disappointed from the interior. It’s such a historic place and then just lacked the necessary grandeur in my eyes. The outside and the buildings were at least impressive enough. Maybe in the end I just missed being guided through it with someone explaining what I was seeing. In fact the best part about leaving the castle was the amazing view on the surrounding countryside. Just think about the history that happened here! The cemeteries all around make you realize how many people died here although I am sure the graves are not that old.

Stirling Castle

Pollybert @Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

view over countryside from Stirling Castle

Castle gardens @Stirling

We drove into the city and stopped to grab something to eat. It had already been long since our breakfast. We decided on the pub at the corner and I took fish and chips. You can’t go wrong with this or so I thought. The beer that came with it helped me get over my disappointment. When we left the city we had to stop for one more picture. Here was Stirling Castle in all its glory. Yours, Pollybert

fish and chips @Stirling

Stirling Castle

2 Comments

  1. What do you mean by ‘wrong side’ at the Kelpies?

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