What is a trip to Scotland without CASTLES? Well it’s not a trip that is for sure. You will see castles in all shapes and forms in Scotland. From castle ruins to castles in grand glory. Each having their own sense of individuality. While on my trip I saw so many castles that by the end of the trip, it was no, not another castle today. If you have seen one castle you have seen them all. But as my trip came to an end I realized that each castle had their own story and with their own story their own sight to gaze upon.
As I walked along the castles that are only ruins today, I felt the sense of loss. On these sights, there was once a castle that in its day was a great grandeur. You could imagine yourself back in time as you walk along the stone walls there were torn down. Feeling the sense of the way of life they lived 300-400 years before. You could feel yourself being in the middle of action as they fought to protect their castle from the enemy. Only to watch as they were defeated by the same enemy.
I loved walking through the castles that were still standing. While I admit walking up and down their staircases was another story. The people must have been very small with tiny feet. But it was amazing walking up and down the concrete spiral staircases. Once you got to the top and looked outside every view was amazing. You could look out and see all. The mountains in the distance, the trees blowing in the wind, the flowers growing in the gardens. These castles had remarkable gardens. Beautiful flowers spread amongst walkway paths to explore. Each path wandering in a new direction to take you to see a different section of the garden.
If you ever get a chance; speak with the guides in the castles. They know so much of the history of the castle. You can hear the passion and pride in their voices as they tell you the history of their castle. My favorite castle that I visited was Duart Castle, because of the tour guide. He made the castle walls come alive with the history he told as he guided us through the castle. It might have had something to do with the glass of whiskey too. (But that is for another blog. The Scots love their whiskey.)
What amazes me is the history that these places preserve for all to see. It is hard to believe how these castles have stood the test of time for so many hundreds of years. Also, how they were built in times without the machinery we have today. What is also commendable is how the country of Scotland, the clans, or the present owners of these castles work to maintain the upkeep of these wonderful treasures available for all to see. So, if you think that you can’t look at one more castle, take a step back and soak in the history of the castle before your eyes. Imagine the people that made that castle a home for their family and for their fellow clansmen and you will see not just another castle but a piece of rare history that makes up Scotland.