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  • Writer's picture Jana

Our Final few days in Scotland are spent Peacefully in Stirling. Saying Goodbye is not Easy.

I am writing this blog from my kitchen table in Hidden Hills. We arrived home last night. It feels strange to be home. First thing this morning I was outside doing some serious gardening (about three hours worth, to be exact, in the 80-degree heat), The kids were kind to help me for which I was most appreciative. We have yet to unpack or do laundry. The mail is in a huge box awaiting my attention. I am feeling the jetlag.


The kids have spent most of the day in the pool. It reached close to 100 degrees today.


My body is in a state of shock after having spent five weeks in the perfectly cool weather of Ireland and Scotland. I make no secret of the fact that I despise hot weather. As I write this 28th and final blog post about our trip. I am dreaming of teleporting myself back to the cloudy, rainy, and in my opinion, perfect summer weather of the UK.


We packed up at the Dunmurray Guesthouse in Pitlochry (always a daunting task, every day or two) so we could head out to our final destination on the trip, Stirling. However, before leaving Pitlochry, we stopped at our favorite bakery for breakfast and then spent an hour or so tooling around town and looking in the shops.


Our first stop of the day, en route to Stirling, was the Scottish Crannog Center, located in Kenmore on Loch Tay in Perthshire. The center includes the reconstruction of an Iron Age Crannog as an archaeological experiment. The Scottish Crannog Center has evolved over the years to become a unique insight into life in the Iron Age. Visiting there, you walk in the footsteps of the original Crannog dwellers and immerse yourself in village life with original artifacts; demonstrations of textiles, cooking, and ancient crafts & technologies. To learn more about the Scottish Crannog Center use this link: https://crannog.co.uk


After the crannog center, we drove further, stopped at a local market to pick up some provisions for a late lunch, and stopped at the Falls of Dochart in Killin. The setting was perfect for a picnic lunch and also for the kids to get some time out of the car to stretch their legs. The kids hopped and climbed on the rocks between the rushing water and had great fun. Only one of the four fell in, which wasn't too bad. We spent about 90 minutes there before getting back on the road to Stirling.


In the late afternoon, we arrived at our next stop, the Castlecroft Bed and Breakfast, in Stirling, which would be our 20th and final accommodation of the trip. We arrived just in time for afternoon tea. Laura, our host, was incredibly hospitable and warm. She made tea for us (this was a first) in her living room and served it with none other than Scottish shortbread cookie. She also had a tea menu, from which to choose, which was a very fun.


Since we had such a late lunch by the river/falls, we decided to skip dinner and stay in for the evening and enjoy our cozy accommodations. We all sat together in one of our two rooms and watched a movie (I had to work on my blog, but tried to catch as much of the movie as I could).


The next morning (Sunday), our last full day in Scotland we started it with a lovely breakfast at Castlecroft. Laura cooked with love and it was evident in all her dishes. She even served home-baked bread!


As we headed out for our day of sightseeing in Stirling, I took these photos of the kids in the stunning garden at our B and B. Laura is not only a great cook and host but a gardener extraordinaire as well.


Our first and main stop on Sunday was the famous Stirling Castle. Stirling Castle is one of the largest and most historically and architecturally important castles in Scotland. Stirling Castle is known to many as the place Mel Gibson fought for in Braveheart. To learn more about Stirling Castle use this link: https://www.stirlingcastle.scot


After visiting the castle and the old town center, we walked to the town proper and found a place for lunch.


Our walk home from town was lovely. It took us past The King's and Queen's Knots, which can be found in the grounds of the ancient King’s Park nestled beneath the towering mass of Stirling Castle. This area was Crown property from at least the 1100s. It was the area where Scotland’s royalty took part in activities such as hunting and jousting. The kids had fun running through the acres of green grass and playing. I sat and watched and petted quite a few dogs that were there with owners enjoying the day. To learn more about The Kings' and Queen's Knots use this link: https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/kings-knot/


We made it home right before it started to rain, just in time for a lovely afternoon tea that Laura prepared for us.


The boys decided they wanted to stay home and watch a movie in their cozy room, so Catherine and I went together to enjoy our last evening out in Scotland. We found a lovely place in town for dinner called Cronies at The Golden Lion Hotel. We both ordered the fish and chips which were delicious. We saw this beautiful sunset on our way home.


On Monday morning, Laura, our host, was kind enough to make us breakfast a bit earlier than she normally does so we would be nourished before our long journey home We headed out of Stirling at 8:15 to drive to the Edinburgh airport. We were so sad to say goodbye to Laura, her charming and cozy B and B, not to mention, to Scotland!


The drive to Edinburgh only took about 35 minutes, which got us to the airport in perfect time. We dropped off our rental car first and then walked the five minutes or so to the terminal. We did get pulled over by the Scottish TSA for various things left in the kids' that were supposed to be removed, but other than that, things went smoothly. We flew from Edinburgh to London, where we had a two-and-a-half-hour layover. Then came the long journey home (eleven-plus hours) to Los Angeles. Everyone did well on the flights and watched lots of movies. Anna and Fitzy picked us up at LAX and we were home safe and sound by about 9:30 last night.

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