More notes from my notebook--
"It's crazy how the people here just leave all this old stuff sitting around. Everyone keeps on living normally right around it, as if that statue over there was just another Starbucks. There are all these old buildings, many with the date of construction carved over the doorway, and the occasional castle, and memorials and statues everywhere. History is everywhere-- it's like Pooh says of the Jagular: "When you look up, it drops on you!" Everywhere you turn your eyes there's another old thing to look at. This place is heavy with the past like few places in America- maybe some of the homes of the founding fathers and such come close. But here it's everywhere."
"So after breakfast we took a little curvy road through the country to Stirling. It was incredible. The countryside is lush and moist to my eyes even in late winter. I want to drink the fields-- the green is the most perfect color. The colors here in general are so beautiful-- misty grey, purple-blue hills, rich brown, slate grey stone, luscious greens. None of the colors by themselves are especially splendid,but together they are perfect harmony.
I'm in a picture book-- Peter Rabbit should be crossing that field, or Pooh climbing out of one of those gorsebushes."
"Stirling itself is a truly amazing place. I wish I could spend a week here. There's this one old library we passed that I was just dying to go in. I mean, how fascinating to see what a Scottish library is like! Maybe next time.... ha. That's the problem with trips like this. I want to linger in all these places and go to libraries and grocers and department stores and restaurants and such. I want to walk everywhere. I see now why people do walking tours here-- it would be the best way to see things."
"Seen on gravestones in the Holy Rude graveyard--
'Alas for love, if that were all, and nought beyond the earth!'
(what other way is there to drown, I ask you?)"
"You know everything I said about Edinburgh Castle? Well, I'm going to say it all again, only this time I mean it so, so much more. Oh my lands, what a place. I'm sitting here gaping trying to think where to start. For one thing, the architecture is incredible. Edinburgh was interesting chiefly because of its history, but Stirling is beautiful. There are the most incredible gargoyles; incredible not only for their age and the artistry in them but also for their bawdiness! Those people certainly weren't afraid of a little vulgarity. Some of these beasts are just truly obscene.
Edinburgh was strictly business, but at Stirling there are gardens and lawns and beautiful courtyards and terraces and rose bushes everywhere ! I would love to see this in June.
I wish I could describe the feeling you get here-- it's a strange combination of complete immersion in the moment and a detached bewilderment. It's all too large to understand, and yet there I am in it.
I wandered off by myself up a stairway and found a little terrace-walkway-thingy overlooking the bowling green. It was called the Prince's Walk, and it was built for James IV. I sat on the ramparts and thought myself into being a royal person up there, alone, sitting on that wall. It was rather terrifying. That must have been a life of constant fear."
I didn't write much about Stirling compared to what I experienced. I don't know if I could have.