Though we thought we may not, we awoke the next day – bright and early – ready to get on with our road trip.
We headed down to the parkade where we had left our vehicle when we arrived. We simply could not figure out how to work the payment machine. After fiddling for more than a few minutes, we picked up the ‘service’ phone.
A thickly accented Scotsman answered. As we were trying to explain to him that we couldn’t figure out how to work the payment thingy, he cut us off with a;
“YA, ya – just go then, ya?”
And up went the gates! We actually stopped just outside the exit, at first waiting for ‘the guy’, and then trying to figure out if we could find him in the (labyrinth) building.
We owed the maximum for overnight/24hr parking which was not cheap!
It took us at least 15 minutes to accept our gift (joyously) and continue on. We were shocked! We had just saved nearly $100 CAD.
Thank you Universe, thank you Edinburgh and the lazy/overtired Scot at the parkade. With this turn in our favour, our entire Edinburgh tour (pillows, hostel and food included) cost $45 CAD. Ridiculous!
It took us an embarrassingly long time to figure out what ‘haste ye back’ meant. We saw the sign above the parkade exit. It seems silly to admit now – but really, we milled ideas around for hours. Simply put, it means ‘return soon’.
It took us a few days to think in Scottish – luckily, we had a few planned.
We headed off to Stirling, to take a peek at the castle before we toured up to the north.
Regardless your ideation, there is no denying his importance to Scotland.
The view of the countryside from the castle was worth the wait in traffic, the distant parking spot, and the line-ups to view. Absolutely stunning.
We decided at the last minute NOT to pay entry to the castle itself. Really, we were put off by the extensive ‘que’, it was a terribly busy, sunny, beautiful day.
I am not a huge fan of line-ups or crowded castle tours, so I justified that this is not our last Scotland tour and Stirling is close to Edinburgh, so we can surely try again (on a rainy Wednesday).
We wandered the entirety of the estate. The view from Stirling castle of the local arresting landscape, is unparalleled – even the castle cemetery is stunning.
Within the grounds are a few important monuments, the statue of Robert the Bruce, who was King of Scots from 25 March 1306, until his death in 1329. Fascinating history, if you want to read more about him here.
It was a beautiful day and we had so much of Scotland to appreciate – it was time to take off and see where the road ahead would lead us.
Many additional photos in the slideshow.