Sunday, August 6, 2017, continued
Stirling & Langbank, Scotland
Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you! How about an unforgettable holiday with us at New Years’ Jazz in Italy?
Unlike the frequent showers that have passed quickly on previous days, the clouds have descended today and the rain’s not stopping….how appropriate to see a legendary castle-topped town, Stirling, in legendary Scottish weather – there it is, in the mist!Sitting atop craggy Castle Hill, Stirling Castle is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs – a strong defensive position for centuries of Scottish history. Several Scottish kings and queens were crowned here, and the castle looked out over the surrounding plains through many fierce battles in the War for Independence – Robert the Bruce looks toward the plain of Bannockburn, where he defeated the English army in 1314. The town clusters beneath the castle – plenty to see there too, from an evocative old cemetery to a majestic gate, and a cozy pub where we stop for lunch.After checking into a nondescript Glasgow airport hotel we want our last evening in Scotland to be more than a hotel dinner….and rather than driving into the big city, we meander along the Clyde River to the miniscule village of Langbank, where the sole restaurant, Coast, is doing a booming Sunday evening business. They can squeeze us in, and we gaze across the river to another historic spot, where Dumbarton Castle, with the longest recorded history of any stronghold in Scotland, is tucked into Dumbarton Rock – Mary Queen of Scots is just one of the iconic figures who spent time here. Notice the mud flats in the top photo? As we ate and took in the view, the tide came in along with flocks of white birds fluttering above as the mud was covered by water, then a mist so that we couldn’t even see across for a while – fascinating to watch!
To complete our Scottish cuisine with a flourish, we shared a Banoffee Pavlova – meringue, bananas, caramel, whipped cream and ice cream – yum!Scotland, it’s been WONDERFUL – we look forward to soon discovering more of your beauty!