A trip to Glasgow and Stirling will provide insight into Scotland’s bloody past. As a history major, I have a thirst for historical adventure. So, I’m off to Scotland. My quest will begin with a tour of Glasgow, the city of St. Mungo, located in the Scottish lowlands on the River Clyde. I will purchase a “Ho Ho” (hop on hop off) bus ticket to get a quick tour of the city. I’ll choose one of the buses that provides a live guide who will share historical and cultural information about the 24 stops the bus makes beginning in George Square. If a particular sight tickles my fancy, I’ll hop off the bus, explore the sight in-depth then hop on another bus that comes along every fifteen minutes. Some of my stops will include:
• The 12th century Glasgow Cathedral, located where the patron saint of Glasgow, Saint Mungo built his church.
• Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum that houses a vast natural history collection and paintings by French Impressionists (a school I love), Dutch Renaissance and Scottish Colourists.
•Tall ship, the three-masted Glenlee built in Port Glasgow was one of a group of 10 steel sailing vessels. She is one of only 5 Clydebuilt sailing ships that remain afloat in the world. Three of them are in U.S. ports. The Balclutha in San Francisco is one of the 5.
Now on to Stirling which was the northernmost frontier of the Roman empire. Stirling Castle, known as the “Key to Scotland” was a medieval stronghold and the stomping grounds of three of Scotland’s great heroes. Robert the Bruce, victor at Bannockburn where in 1314 he defeated Edward II’s army and restored Scotland’s independence. William Wallace commonly known as Braveheart and hero of the battle of Stirling Bridge, where he defeated the English army in 1297. Rob Roy, the Scottish Robin Hood, whom Daniel Defoe (author of Robinson Crusoe), characterized as “daring, passionate, and charitable.” Stirling Castle played a key role in Scotland’s bloody history and is a must-see sight.
After a quick pub lunch, my next Stirling event will be an Old Town History Tour that will include the Church of the Holy Rude founded in 1129 and the 17th century Cowane’s Hospital.
After a good pub dinner I’ll end my visit to Stirling by stopping for a pint at the Settle Inn (91 Saint Marys Wynd), Stirling’s oldest alehouse serving traditional real Scottish ales since the 1700′s. Oh, I’ll plan to be there on Wednesday night to enjoy their folk music. Some of the songs tell of the heroes who guided Scotland through its bloody history.
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