We started off the day with a fantastic breakfast at our hotel, The Apex Hotel which is 5 star all the way! The hotel is just around the corner from The Royal Mile and we can see Edinburgh Castle from here. Wow, this is a very old, very beautiful city! I was iching to start exploring here, but we decided to head back towards Glasgow to Sterling Castle.
it took us an hour to get to the city of Stirling. You could see the castle on the bluff for miles as it is beautifully situated. We were early and parked in front of the gates of The Old Gaol! Our first stop was to Cowane Hospital for coffee. This hospital was erected and largely provided by John Cowane Deane of Gild for the entertainment of decayed Gild breithr. 1639′.
We arrived at the castle in time for the 11:00 tour!
The Royal Palace at Stirling Castle was built in the late 1530s for King James V and his wife Mary of Guise but it had been used as a barracks for nearly 300 years. £12m was spent “putting the interiors of the palace to rights” and £2m alone was spent copying the Unicorn Tapestries in the Cloisters Museum. The Palace contains a Chapel Royal that was one of the first Protestant churches in Scotland and retains authentic 17th century murals. But, It was taken over by the army and became a dining hall, schoolroom and storehouses. The original Chapel Royal where Mary, Queen of Scots and her son, James VI were baptized was torn down to allow for this more grandeur chapel to baptize James VI’s son Henry. it was built in 7 months!
When the tour ended, we made our way through the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders Museum. The Museum traces the history of the 91st Argyllshire Highlanders and the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders. Stirling Castle has been the home of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise’s) since 1881 and through the years, many objects of regimental interest have been handed in, including: paintings, medals, silver, uniform and documents. It was not until 1988 that a museum was opened in the King’s Old Building of the Castle. I have taken 2 photos, one of a Highlander from the 93rd Battalion and a photo of a Vicars Machine Gun Scene 1939-1945.
We returned to Edinburgh, walked over to the Royal Mile and explored the area. We stopped for dinner at a Michelin restaurant ‘Angels and Bagpipes’. A glass of Merlot, watermelon, goats cheese, green apple, walnut salad to start, followed by a juicy breast of chicken over asparagus, and seashell pasta. Yum! Brian had fish and chips. yes, we both had dessert, and it was all fabulous!
After a bit more meandering I decided to take the Ghost Tour, after all it was a dark and cloudy evening and a good wind was blowing. Wondering what the witches were up to, I follow our guide into a very dark musty cellar and waited. Yes, I was scared, but the 7 year old girl beside me, who claims she sees ghosts, was not! I took a photo of the darkest corner of the cellar, do you see a ghost in my photo?