Sunday, June 04, 2006

Stirling Photos

Stained Glass Window in the Church of the Holy Rude

View from near Stirling Castle across the town to the Wallace Monument

View from church cemetery across to the Trossachs

Musket shot marks in the church wall.

Stirling Gyp pt1

I nearly didn't make this Gyp. That I did says wonders for the efficiency of Glasgows public transport and my ability to dress, shower and get my shit together in about five minutes flat.

I met Clairwil at 1pm in Queen Street station and we agreed instantly that it would be a rather fine idea to go to Stirling for the afternoon. The weather was rather nice in Glasgow, warm but a little cloudy. By the time we got to Stirling there was barely a cloud in the sky.

Our first stop was the Church of the Holy Rude which lies at the top of a long steady climb up from the town's main shopping street. First of all we had a short stroll through the cemetery to a rather scary little viewpoint. Neither of us are what you would call unsteady on our feet(when sober at least) but even the most sure footed of mountain goats would have had trouble on this particular outcrop. Deciding discretion was the better part of valour, we retreated to the safety of the graveyard again. Clairwil acted as an impromptu tour guide and pointed out the slightly macabre 'skull & crossbones' tombstones. She also pointed out the musket shot that pock marks the walls of the church itself. It was then I got my first sight of the rather ornate statue of John Cowane, set into the facade of the old infirmary building opposite the church. Clairwil informed me that the statue was known as 'Staneybreeks' and legend has it he comes to life and cuts a bit of rug with the revellers at New Year. Very drunk revellers I might add.................

The church itself is astonishing. The stained glass windows are awesome and i'm afraid my photographs simply cannot do the place justice. There was choral music being piped through, obviously to set a mood. Very nice it was too but I have to admit I prefer silence in these places. There were two ladies ever present near the church door, ensuring that every visitor left their name in the visitor book and made a donation of some sort. Quite right too. Some people wander in and out of such places, barely interested and determined to move onto the next relic or whatever is next in their guide book. Might as well get something out of them eh?

A few more snaps of old Staneybreeks and we were on our way. There was a notion of going to Stirling Bridge but first of all a call at the tourist info near Stirling Castle seemed to be in order.

That we didn't come out with much in the way of information should be of no surprise to any of you................

We managed to fight our way through all the worthless tartan tat and found a small leaflet rack. I think we found one pertinent leaflet and i'm not sure exactly how much use it was to us in the end. We wandered back down towards the town again and made a pitstop at The Settle Inn. After a few pints in this historic and apparently haunted little pub we made our way back towards the town. One last stop was made to take some photo's of the astonishing Stirlingshire countryside. We clambered up a small hill to find a family pointing out to their kids that they could 'see their house from here'. They promptly left, leaving us to snap away at such mundane objects as The Wallace Monument, the distant mountains and the grand sweep across the forth valley.

Oh well.