A recent post by BrainRants got me to thinking about my one and only overseas trip. I had always had it in the back of my mind that someday I would love to visit Great Britain, especially Scotland. It was in about 2004 that I casually mentioned it to an old friend. Imagine my surprise when she immediately responded with “Let’s go!” Just like that. So we did.
Fast forward to the spring of 2008 when I found myself in the land of my ancestors. There’s much I could write about it, but instead I’d like to share a few of the 1100+ photographs I took during that trip.
These first three show extremes in living situations. First is Abbotsford, built by Sir Walter Scott.
Smailholm Tower is a small peel tower and was the property of the Pringle family in 1408, sold to the Scotts of Harden in 1645, abandoned in 1700, and eventually restored in the 1980s. It is roofed with stone slabs, the walls are 10’ thick, and the tower is nearly 60’ tall.
And here is a portion of the outer wall of Stirling Castle, just west of Edinburgh. It is on the River Forth and is one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland. A few of the original 14th century buildings remain with most of the main buildings dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.
Of course, there are remains of numerous abbeys, such as Melrose Abbey. It was established in 1136 by Cistercian monks on the request of King David I of Scotland and took over 50 years to build. Most of it is now in ruins. In 1322 the Abbey was destroyed by the army of Edward II, rebuilt and destroyed again in 1385 by the army of Richard II of England. Then again, in 1544, it was damaged by the English and never fully repaired.
What a beautiful country!