Sunday, June 13, 2010
Exploring Scotland One Castle at a Time
Mitsi bit the bullet and climbed behind the wheel and off we went to our first Bed andBreakfast, Miller’s 64 on Pilrig Street.
Miller’s 64 was so clean you could eat off the floors. It’s a Victorian townhouse fully renovated. The stairs spiraled upward. A real challenge with our 50 pounds of luggage, but we rose to the occasion. After a short trek into town for an Italian dinner at a nearby restaurant we crashed from our 17 hour long trip.
Down the street from our bus stop, the National Archives building sat with it’s impressive statue of Wellington in front. Wellington was the general who defeated Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo on June 18th, 1815. He was the British Prime Minister from 1769 to 1852.
From where we stood at the bus stop we could also see the Dugald Stewart Monument.
Stewart was a Scottish philosopher and professor of Mathematics who taught Sir Walter Scott at the University of Edinburgh.
Our bus arrived promptly at 8:45 and we boarded and sat back to enjoy our tour just south of the Scottish border to Norththumberland. We arrived in Scotland less than 24 hours before and we’re heading for England. Go figure.
We drove South to the border.
After a quick stop at the border, we arrived at Bamburgh Castle (pronounced Bambro by the Scots). It is one of the most impressive fortresses in Britain. It was used as the location for the movies of Mary Queen of Scots, MacBeth, El Cid, Becket, Ivanhoe, and Elizabeth. The place is massive and beautiful. Parts of the castle date back to 1066 when the Normans built a castle to replace the one destroyed by the Vikings in 993. That structure provided the core of the castle that now stands.
It’s perched above the beach on the Northeast coastline of England. The sea appeared so blue it looked surreal. I could have stayed there for hours.