Friday, January 26, 2018


After visiting our families castle on Sunday, we drove to Glasgow to spend the next 2 nights. We had one heck of a time getting to our hotel. There just happened to be a marthon/bike race going on and we couldn't get very close to our hotel until after 6pm. Knowing we were turning in the van the next day, HALLELUJAH, we decided to find a gas station to top it off while we waited!! (Kory and I are both so done with driving. Our GPS is always behind, we are tired of the narrow streets and just driving on the wrong side of the road. It's been beyond frustrating and has caused some irritability and short tempers!) 

Sunday night we mostly hung around the hotel and did nothing. One of the TV stations was playing the Star Wars movies so we stayed inside with the intention of  watching them. We were tired. We have been on the go, go, go since we arrived it seemed. However, our hotel room was incredibly small.

I am standing in front of the door.
The bathroom is right in front. The shower is on the R behind the obscured glass. The toilet is on the L behind the obscured glass. 

There is a small bedside table that fits pretty snug between the shower and bed. The bed is pushed right up against the wall. I guess I forgot to take a picture of the tv hanging on the wall literally at the foot of the bed. 

With the smallness of the room it didn't take us too long before we felt the need to leave. So we went on a little walk, in the rain.

We came across the Glasgow Cathedral.
Being it was Sunday there was no charge to walk through. Mass is held about every 3 hours. We just happened to be here in between services. I felt kind of bad we weren't dressed a little better, like in Sunday clothes but most people weren't. 

I have never been in such a huge church before!

Many, many stained glass windows inside.  

Above some of the indoor benches were these ingraven plaques.  

Some had a story to go with it while others didn't.  

Another window.  

The craftsmanship is just amazing.  

Each bench still shows different family crests. At one time families bought there own bench. Now anyone can sit wherever.  

Donations can be made here. 

This is where we would have normally had to buy a ticket to walk through.  

I learned through Pinterest that Glasgow is known for there graffiti mural's that can be found all over the city.  There's an actual map that you can buy that will show where they all are. They can change spots every year. These artists have to bid on different spots they'd like to paint there picture.  I thought it would be cool to see but wasn't sure where to buy the map, how much the map was and figured there were plenty of other things to do in our short time here. 

On our way back to the hotel we passed several. I was so excited to see them! This one was my favorite. I love the story it tells. The first word that popped into my head when seeing this picture was *kindness*. Something our world could be better at. 

This one is people on a small boat? 
I'm sure there's a story that goes along with it but I don't know it. 

This one was near the University of Glasgow.

I thought this one was just plain fun!

I love that we were able to see a handful of the murals on our walk around town.
After our walk we went back to the hotel and had a good nights rest.  

We had been gone for about 9 days so the one thing we had planned to do Monday morning while we still had a car was to find a laundromat. Kory and I along with Mom, Dad and Hanna were in one car while the others were in another. We were each going to a different laundromat so that we wouldn't have to wait on each other. The first laundromat must have moved because it was no longer at the address we got off of the web. The 2nd place didn't allow self serve. The 3rd we hit the jackpot. The only problem was that there were only 3 washers and dryers and Jonathan and Camille had pulled up right behind us. They had also struck out on their first laundromat that they had planned on going to.  So, all 9 of us ended up at the same spot. Ugh.... Not wanting to wait our turn for a few hours we decided to leave our laundry with the attendant and let her do our laundry for us. Others chose to stay behind and do their's themselves. Best decision ever for us! It cost us about 35 pounds but we didn't have to stay there while everyone else was doing their laundry. And the best part was that when it was all done they delivered it to our hotel, folded and in bags for us! Score!

We all split up once again wanting to go and see different things. Mom and Hanna stayed behind because Hanna wasn't feeling her best. Everyone else decided to go visit a castle that was about 1 1/2 hours away and then return just in time to turn in their car. Kory and I decided since it was just the two of us we'd stay a little closer to Glasgow and see some of it's castles nearby and then we would also have to return our van. Yippee!

Our first castle we drove to was the Dumbarton Castle.
Which looked like a really big house. Whats left of the castle is actually behind the house up on the hill. The house you see in the entrance into the castle grounds where you get to pay your dues. The main floor had a few pictures and artifacts about this castle and Glasgow in general. The upper rooms are used as storage and weren't available to the public. 
After walking up those steps we found the spot that they use to keep the artillery. 

It was super rainy day!

We decided to walk around the castle grounds before going up and inside some of the ruins. 
For just a moment, the clouds went away and the sun came out. 

This castle grounds and castle is full and I mean full of stairs!
 Along the path we picked wild black berries.
Most were pretty tart but every once in a while we'd get a sweet one. 

More stairs, most were going down hill.....
The pathway is right up against the large river with the castle sitting up on top of the hill. 

Finally made it to the end! But now we got to go up all those stairs!

When we got back to the center we decided we'd go up and see the actual castle remains. 

Lots and lots of stairs!

One of the intact rooms talked about Queen Mary of Scots and her life. Mary lived here in this castle during her young childhood. When she was 6 she was sent to France for her protection.  

 After leaving this small room/building we were greeted with more stairs. 
To say I was out of breath was an understatement. I told Kory I had seen enough and was going back to the van. 

He was making fun of me but I was beyond done going up and down these stairs!

Our next stop was Newark Castle

In the 16th Century there was a man named Maxwell who lived here. He was good friends with 
King VI of Scotland. Due to this friendship this guy "got away" with murdering two members of a rival family. He also was known to beat his wife who bore him 16 children before finally leaving him. What a guy!!!!!

After the Maxwells had all died or moved away I guess, this castle was rented to a rope maker. He was quite fond of large wild animals. He was known to have "big" cats and bears he kept in the cellar. 

Looking down into one of the cellars

There at one time was a large hallway that went through the castle. But one of the renters was found quite often stealing food and such from the cellars so this hallway was boarded up. You see these little windows would have let you see out into the hallway but they are still boarded up to this day. 

Stairs leading us up to the next floor. 

We saw these little windows looking out over the grounds. 

The roof of the "great hall". These beams have been here since the 16th century. 

Kind of a cool door found on the top floor of the castle. It led us outside to see the views.

The castle sits along the edge of a river. For centuries this area has been a major port for ships going and coming from sea. That is partly how that one tenant was able to get so many of his large and exotic animals at that time. 

This little building is a corner tower. 
It is the last building left from the original outer defense wall. 
It reminded me of the Fairy Tale Rapunzel.

The original steel door is still intact today. 
It's used as a small storage room.

Third stop Bothwell Castle.
I just love these tree lined streets to the castles. 
It's just a little magical! 

Castle construction began during the 13th century. But before it was completely built if fell under siege numerous times and parts of it was destroyed.
How frustrating that must have been!

Rebuilding was done during the 15th century to enlarge it. But it was then abandoned during the 18th century. Talk about a lot of work for nothing! I love the redness of this castle. It Reminded me of home. 

We were able to walk into this tower.  

Inside was gate leading down, down, down. The stairs going up were no longer there. 

In the bottom of that pit. 

From the entrance of the tower looking at the other side of the castle. I just can't get over all the green green grass.

We got to walk over all that beautiful grass into the other side of the castle. 
Beautiful views from atop.

Looking out the window. 

This top room would have been the commons area. Large feasts and dancing would have been done here. A long time ago this room had a roof but not anymore.

To get to the top this was the entrance. 

 One thing we noticed fairly quickly over here was the lack of security compared to what we are use to. And the "faith" maybe that they have in their citizens and tourists. These buildings are older than anything I've ever seen. In the US we'd be escorted around a place like this. In the US many of these rooms would not have been available to the public due to the structure not being up to code. I mean seriously look at that rock beam in the above picture. It's falling down and has been for some time! Yet we were still able to access this part of the castle. 
These metal pieces are being used to hold it in it's place. 
A few missing nails on the bottom.
There is no way this would have been ok in the US. We would not have been able to see what we saw today. There was no graffiti, no trash, nothing that we saw that was recently and on purpose destroyed by others. It's been so awesome to walk most of these castles and other old buildings by ourselves.  It's really kind of sad that we (in the US) are quick to blame others, to sue for monetary gain from selfishness and the destruction and lack of respect our country quite often shows. I loved this castle and am so glad that I was able to take it all in. 

The last building we walked through had several displays of items found within the castle. 

In the above picture the stones were behind glass but the glass wasn't touching each other. So it would have been very easy to pick up and touch but there was sign asking that we not touch these specific items.The below picture shows displays not behind glass.  There was a sign telling us we could touch and feel but was asked not pick them up. They are made out of stone and rock. They would be heavier then they look.  Its awesome again the trust they show. There was no one in the room making sure we and others were following the rules. 

After seeing 3 different castles, we were feeling a bit castled out. We returned to Glasgow, turned in our van and walked back to our hotel. It was only about 3 miles away. Hahahaha.  

We saw quite a bit during those 3 miles. Another mural depicting atheletes!

Old buildings with lots, and lots of different stone work.

Statues of important people to Glasgow.

Monument for those who died during one of their wars.

And finally our hotel!
 What a great day, spending most of it with just Kory and I!