24 Hours in Scotland

Daddy had a trip to Glasgow, and since it’s summer I don’t have piano lessons tying up days, so I was able to go. The plane flew into Glasgow, and that night we walked around near Central Station before bed.

In the morning, I had haggis for breakfast:

I ate all of that. 🙂 Not bad when eaten with something else. The texture was terrible, but the flavor was good.

We explored George’s Square while waiting for our train. It has monuments to Queen Victoria, Prince Albert (I really think “The Young Victoria” turned him into a fangirl magnet, but he really was pretty neat – though the whole idea of a husband being under his wife is really messed up – and the movie really showed that tension), Burns, Scott, and others.

{Burns, foreground; and Scott}

We took a train into Edinburgh, where our first stop was the Sir Walter Scott monument. It’s huge.

David Livingstone, with Edinburgh castle behind him.

On our way up to the castle we stopped at a place where you could see them weaving tartan.

Looking down on the Scott Memorial and over to Calton Hill from the castle.

Out over Edinburgh

The castle is huge!

John Knox! And there was also a window with Robert Bruce on it!

This man spoke about the Jacobite uprising in 1745, with Bonnie Prince Charlie (who few people liked). He also showed us how to do the great kilt/plaid. And he set history straight, about Braveheart (which was really a term for Bruce, not Wallace). William Wallace did NOT wear a kilt and did NOT paint his face blue (the only time a Scot has a blue face is if he fell asleep while painting or is going to a fancy dress party dressed as a Smurf), and if you want historical accuracy you’d be better off watching Lord of the Rings. (Finally, someone else who knows! And since I heard it in Scotland, maybe people will believe me!).

This was my favorite spot, although when we went I didn’t even know about it. This is the shadow of the gallows, where many Covenanters were hung. I plan on doing a long post on them another time, so I’ll keep it short here. In the 1600s, England tried to say Charles I had authority over the churches, and also instituted prayer books and other things that some found to be Roman Catholic, and pushing worship that was weak or against the scriptures. They drew up a covenant and signed it, and thus were known as the Covenanters. From then on, they were often hunted down for not going to church (they often met in the open air), and made to pay fines to the extent that they could not survive. The extent to which they held fast to truth and suffered, especially the pastors, has made them oft-forgotten heroes of the faith.

So to sit at the spot, on the memorial to some of the bravest men, women and children, who would not conform but held fast to scripture, and be at the place they died, was very special. But at the same time, it was very saddening – people we asked had no idea where the Covenanters Memorial was or what it was. And the people sitting on it seemed oblivious to what they were sitting on. But I think that just shows their oblivion to what draws me to Scotland – the rich spiritual wealth found there. We saw church buildings that were converted into bars. I’d heard of them, but it’s so different seeing them.

We stopped at Greyfriar’s Kirkyard. I didn’t find out till later that there’s a Covenanter prison here, and also another monument to them, so we didn’t see those. But, what I also realized later was that the Covenant was signed in this very graveyard. To have been there, even unknowingly, is a privilege.

Of course, we had to stop at Gileskirk, since that’s what part of our history program was named for.

On the Royal Mile, packed with people for a festival.

A memorial to the Scottish brigades in the Civil War.

We walked up Calton Hill, and enjoyed wonderful views.

Then daddy rested and I climbed the stairs of the Nelson Monument for even better views.

And then we caught a train back to Glasgow, ate, rested, and went to the airport. I got to sit up in the cockpit for part of the time before we left, and see daddy make his announcements (I love hearing his voice talking to everyone!).
Back at home, I’ve pulled out our “Crown and Covenant” series and have been loving re-reading those, walking with some Covenanters for a while.


6 thoughts on “24 Hours in Scotland

  1. Emily S. of Conroe TX says:

    Thank you for posting this! What a wonderful trip. I just read the Crown and Covenant Series and it was so neat looking through your travel photos and commentary. Now I really, REALLY want to visit Scotland. 🙂


  2. lauraeandrews says:

    I love the stories of the Covenanters. But it makes me so sad to think that Scotland is so secular now when so many godly men and women suffered for Christ. Most people don’t even know about them, and even if they did they wouldn’t care.


  3. Ezra Dunn says:

    Have you ever listened to Alistair Begg sermons? In one of his sermons, talking about the difference between Catholicism and true Christianity, he mentioned that in his homeland of Scotland, it is a little bit easier for them to make the difference because they have monuments to help them remember! Beautiful pictures.


  4. Arthur Dunn says:

    I haven’t watched Braveheart, but I did hear that Wallace had a blue face. Totally false! That was a pagan practice that stopped when the gospel reach the Isles. If I was to go anywhere in Europe, it would be the British Isles, with Scotland being the highlight.


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