Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sunset - Hailes Castle

Fall 2012 - The Lothians, Hailes Castle

The way we found this was actually a bit odd. On our way to look at another site, we saw a sign for a castle. So, once we had seen the other location (Traprain Law,) we went to investigate the castle. We figured it would be shut, as most Historic Scotland locations shut at 4:30pm, but thought it still might be pretty. The thing is, it wasn't shut. And we got there at sunset.
 The other crazy part - when I got home, I looked up the castle to see if we could find out more about it. It was at that point that I discovered it was successfully attacked by none other than Henry Percy, probably best known by his nickname - Harry Hotspur, and made famous by Shakespeare.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

From on High

Fall 2012 - The Lothians, Tantallon Castle

Some of the highest parts of the castle are still safe to walk around on, so if you're brave enough to scamper up the stairs, you can get great views of the ocean and the countryside around. In the first photo you can see North Berwick Law, a volcanic hill that is quite drastically different than it's surrounding landscape. And that 5th photo is the remains of a staircase. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tantallon Castle

Fall 2012 - The Lothians, Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle is about an hour drive from Edinburgh. We got there, due to car rental difficulties, in the late afternoon, and the light was gorgeous.

When approaching the castle you first go through the ruins of a gate house (1st photo,) and then round the corner to see the blue-stoned front gate. Why is the gate built out of a different stone than the rest of the castle (which is built of sandstone)? The theory is that the stone was softer and thus could take more blows from an attacking army. Well, it sure looks great too. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

1969 - 1971

Fall 2012 - Edinburgh

Mark Pickm (Last name spelling I am unsure on, any ideas?) 
1969 - 71 

Scratched into my window - I think, before it became Edinburgh housing. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stirling - Around the Castle

Fall 2012 - Stirling Castle

These are some of my other photos from around Stirling:
The statue of Robert the Bruce on the castle Esplanade, a view out of a no longer used window, the town of Stirling from the Castle, and this church we passed on our walk home. 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Stirling - The Castle

Fall 2012 - Stirling Castle

About three weekends ago I went up to Stirling with one of the societies at Edinburgh to wander around Stirling Castle. It was an absolutely beautiful early fall day, and it did not rain once! We were so lucky. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Out My Window

Fall 2012 - Edinburgh

Once upon a time the light out my window was just really beautiful. That amazing building to the left is New College. Good view, eh? 

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Fall 2012 - Inveraray

This is Inveraray in the rain. Almost the whole town is built in the same style as the building in the first photo as at one point the whole thing was rebuilt. Basically the Duke of Argyll, at some point, wanted the town to move to facilitate the building of his now castle/manor house, and so he did. Or at least that's what our guide told us. Anyway, the town is right on the shore of Loch Fyne, which is actually a sea Loch, hence the seafaring vessels. Like Kilchurn Castle, it still managed to be beautiful in the rain. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rainy Days

2012 - Kilchurn Castle

That's my mother with the blue umbrella, taking a photo of me. So as you can see it really was quite rainy. I guess it's the traditional Scottish experience? 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Castle Hunting

Fall 2012 - Doune & Kilchurn Castles 

Doune Castle

Kilchurn Castle

Obviously the weather changed a bit in between these two locations. When the parents and I were in Scotland before classes started, we decided to go on a "Western Highlands" tour. It was absolutely beautiful for the first few hours, then it poured, then it got a little better but by then we were all soaked. My mother and I bought new socks halfway through. Though it was a bit horrendous at the time, I have to say I a little bit love the blurry rain photos that came out of it.

So Doune castle is, unsurprisingly, right outside the village of Doune, and though you can't see it, is just by the edge of the River Teith. Both Monty Python and Game of Thrones have filmed here - Monty Python used it for every castle in the Holy Grail, and Game of Thrones used it for the pilot, but still cool. We didn't get a chance to go inside, but I guess that leaves me more to do as the year goes on! 

Kilchurn Castle. Well, first off it's on the edge of Loch Awe, i.e. essentially in the Loch if it rains too much. Something about being on the ruins of a castle in the stormy weather was actually quite beautiful. It just may have actually been worth getting soaked. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Arthur's Seat

Fall 2012 - Edinburgh, Holyrood Park 

Arthur's Seat is actually a pretty amazing thing. It's a gigantic hill in a park in the middle of one of the largest cities in Scotland. It was probably also inhabited in the Iron Age. And when you go the long way around (first past the Sailsbury Craigs, then up the Edinburgh side of Arthur's Seat,) it can be quite the trek. And windy. But I think these photos prove it's worth the walk. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Castle

Fall 2012 - Edinburgh Castle

The photo at the top is one of the only good photos of the castle without a bunch of people in it. People are distracting. For instance, there is this other photo I like, but there's a couple kissing in it. So distracting!

The second photo is from St. Margaret's Chapel, which was built around the 12th century, and is the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh. The stained glass image, then is of St. Margaret, looking very Saintly with the light from behind. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Unicorn & The Lion

Fall 2012 - Edinburgh Castle

The Scottish Unicorn and the English Lion flanking the doorway of the Scottish National War Memorial. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Castle - Memorial

Fall 2012 - Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh. When I was here last, I didn't make it up to the Castle, so when my parents were here, we most certainly went. All of these photos are of the Scottish National War Memorial, which was opened in 1927.