2013 Summer (Baltic and Britain – Scotland – July 14 – Day 21 – Part 1)

It took us a few hours to arrive at Doune Castle.  Google maps says the distance takes just over two hours, but as usual, we stopped to take photos.This was a comforting highway sign.  Where do you go?  Who  has  the  right  of  way? I  didn’t  write  down  the  name  of  this  town,  but the  rock-strewn river  was  a very  popular  spot.  We  walked  around for  awhile  before  heading  out  to Doune. The  archway  in  the  photo  below  was  the  entrance  to  a cemetery.  You are never far from the sound of bag pipes in Scotland. This fellow was just serenading passing motorists.  I often had a chuckle at some of the place names.

Doune Castle has been featured in the movies, Ivanhoe and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  It also was used in Game of Thrones and Outlander TV series.  It is a 14-century courtyard castle built for the Regent Albany, Scotland’s ‘uncrowned king.’  Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany served as regent to three different Scottish monarchs.  He was a ruthless politician suspected of the murder of his nephew.  He died in 1420 and was succeeded by his son Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany who was executed for treason when the imprisoned King James returned to Scotland.  James had been held captive in England for eighteen years during which Robert Stewart served as regent in Scotland, making him king in all but name.

Doune Castle has a 100 foot high gatehouse and one of the best preserved great halls in Scotland.  The audio commentary for your self-guided tour around Doune was narrated by Terry Jones who co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail .  There were some very funny stories among the historical details.                                  You could certainly roast a whole ox in this fireplace!It is quite mind boggling to think of the elaborate and multi-course  banquet feasts for a hundred or more guests that were made in these simple kitchens.

When we completed our tour of Doune we drove to Stirling and, one more time, went to Argyll’s Lodging.  Third time’s the charm.  It was open and we were able to go inside.

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