Monday, March 24, 2008

The Wallace's Pile of Rocks!

Sunday; We took a bus to a tiny town south of Glasgow called Killarmock in search of my family’s castle “Castle Cragie” .. The man who helped us figure out which bus to take asked “why would you want to go there?”
“Well, there’s some ruins we want to see out there”
Once in town we discovered that the only things open on a Sunday are the churches and the pubs. The little room next to the bus station with civic maps was closed (sadly), the police station is closed all weekend and the bathrooms in the mall are also locked. Basically the place is so remote and so tiny that there aren’t any really accurate maps of the place so once we hopped off the bus I was navigating by the fact that I knew the castle was "oh kinda 4 miles south west of the town”
View Larger MapMia didn’t appreciate my navigating skills. She wanted signs… plus it was raining (as it does in Scotland apparently all the time). So although she was ready to get back on the bus, I was just meandering in the direction that it should be in . Eventually towards the end of town we found a pub that was open. Mia insisted we go ask for directions…. the people inside were more than helpful and of corse amused that we had come all this way to see some old pile of rocks sitting out in a field. They were kind and suggested that we take a cab because “it’s so far”… and it turns out it was actually only 4 miles away. One thing that is hard to get used to is how the concept of distance in Great Britian is greatly truncated. Everything seems to be unexpectedly close. Anyway what is left of Castle Cragie is out in a field on a farm. My heart sank a little although I was ready to ask the farm owners if it was ok to head out.

 While out in the muck, the cabbie had a chat with the lady of the house ... I'm sure they had a good laugh.
Anyway here is what is left of castle Cragie ....

There is still evidence of some fine Midaeval archetecture…

One good reason to wear kilts in Scotland is that your shins are covered with skins and your nice wool garments are kept out of the mud (which is generally up to your calves). We left the field caked in mud with huge smiles on our faces.

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