One of the first weeks we were here we were able to ride a bus around town. Steven, being the more observant person then me, noticed a Castle up on a hill as we rode by. It looked so cool from a distance that we decided that one day we would take a walk and go find it.
Well we ended up waking up early on Saturday to Google how to get there. We found out its only a mile walking distance from here and since it was a nice day we were going to do it. We got the boys all bundled up and we went for a walk.
Once we crossed the bridge over the river and walked half a block we were able to see it in the Distance. With the fog and the darker sky it was kind of eerie looking and so Rhys thought it was extremely cool.
We had directions to get there, but on the map there looked like there might be a faster way to cut through one of the neighbourhoods. We figured we'd try it and if it wasn't faster that we would at least get a nice walk in. Well, I don't think it was any faster but it did make us come across this gorgeous Church. We saw it from a distance and wanted to take pictures. While we were walking around a little walked up to me. She had been standing at the Bus stop a few feet away and asked me if there was anything she could do for me. I told her we had just seen the church and thought it was so pretty that we wanted to come and take some pictures. She then told me that she is the Property Manager of the Church and asked if we would like to see the inside of it. This sounded like fun, so we told her yes and so she got her keys and let us in.
The inside was just beautiful. Exactly like you'd imagine an old church to look like. It kind of reminded me a little of the Church in Sound of Music that they get married in, only on a much smaller scale. She told us some very interesting stories about it. It was built in 1894 and that it had once been in a different location. They ended up moving it brick by brick in 1942 and finally finished it in 1946. She didn't tell us why they moved it, but its fascinating to think of the process that they went through.
There were also some gorgeous Stain glass windows. They had such amazing colours coming through them with the sun. It was surprising since they weren't that noticeable from the outside. There was also a lady inside putting together some flowers in a vase for the service the next day and she said she had a few left over so she gave them too me. They were beautiful white roses and they had the most wonderful smell to them. Of course they invited us to their service on Sunday but we told them we would have to see if our schedule would work. They had their service at 11:00 and since our Church is at 10:00 there was no way we could go even if we wanted to, but it was really sweet of them to offer. She was very nice and was able to instruct us on the best way to get to the Castle from there and then we were on our way.
From there it was only a short walk over another bridge and then we were at the bottom of the hill. Its funny because it didn't seem like that big of a deal until I started to push the Buggy up it. For some reason I was just not able to do it. Luckily I had a nice, strong, handsome man by my side who was able to take over. =)
Once we got to the top we decided to leave the Buggy at the gate so that Gavin could wander around more. (This ended up being a very wise decision because there was mud all along the trail to get to the castle and I think the buggy would have gotten stuck.) I carried Gavin up to the top and let him down once we were actually on the stones of the Castle.
The Castle was made in 1100 and was attacked in a Siege in 1489. It left only one tower standing but there were originally 4. This is also the only Castle left standing in Glasgow, which is really sad.
We walked around the whole thing before we finally found the entrance. There's only one and its a small door, so we just started walking around the wrong way.
So, you go through this small hallway and it opens up to this big room. There's a hole in the ceiling so there's plenty of light. It was then that Gavin first said "Wow." We told him he was in a Castle so he wandered around saying "Wow, Castle." It sounded more like "astle" but it was still cute.
There were a few small side rooms that were really dark and only big enough for one person to stand in. There were also a few barred windows that Gavin was quite fascinated with. Once we were done exploring the bottom floor we found the stairs going to the next one. Since they are so old they were very hard to walk up. They were stone, so there wasn't a question of them not being stable, but they were SO uneven that you had to be careful not to let your ankle twist when you put your foot down.
On the Second floor there was a railing and you could look down into the first floor. (Remember how I said there was a hole in the ceiling.) I was very sad that we missed a cute picture opportunity because both Rhys and Gavin walked up to the edge very carefully and were craning their necks from far away trying to see down. But, we didn't get the picture taken so you'll all just have to use your imaginations.
This floor had a lot less rooms, but there was a hollowed out space that was the "Pantry" and a section that said they used to lock up their personal items since there was nothing like a bank or safe back then.
There was a small archway with some stairs that led up to another floor. And once again, Steven being the more observant of us noticed there was a little ledge across from it that we might be able to set our camera on to take a family picture. We took a few and were able to get some cute ones. We're not all looking at the camera, but since there's still all smiles I think they still turned out really cute.
Anyway, we then went through the arch way and up a few stairs to find a set of round staircase stairs. They were kind of scary to go up because it was so dark, but we did it. There was a small hallway and then we were in another little room. This one had a few windows so it wasn't completely dark, but it was darker then all the others.
This is where Gavin and my journey ended because there were ladders you had to climb to keep going. Gavin tried really hard but he couldn't even get on the bottom rung and there was no way I was carrying him up there. Rhys was able to do it though, so Steven and him climbed all the way to the top. Apparently there were 4 sets of ladders so it was a good thing that we didn't end up going. They said it was neat, and I was going to go when they came back but Gavin was so attached to me I didn't want to upset him. I figure that we'll be taking a few people that come and visit us anyway so I'll get my chance to climb up.
Climbing back down all the stairs was an adventure since its a lot harder going down in the dark then going up, but we all made it safely. Gavin seemed quite happy to get back in his Buggy for the ride home and even let us put his gloves on him.
Rhys was a good sport but near the end he kept telling us his feet hurt and he wanted to go home. Luckily the walk home was a little faster then the walk there since we decided to just go back the way the directions told us to. They were also happy because Steven made them Hot Chocolate to warm their little bodies up when we got home. Something that they both have started to really enjoy. =)
All in all it was a very fun trip and something I had always pictured us doing while we are here in Scotland. I look forward to many similar adventures before this trip is done. =)
Looking at the Castle from the bottom of the hill.
Our view as we were walking up to it. We walked around the right side, but the doors just on the left around the corner there.
Looking straight up from the side.
One of the windows Gavin was so obsessed with.
This is the big room on the first floor with the hole in the ceiling. You can see a door to a small room on the right.
A picture of one of the rooms... they were quite small.
Exploring the area where they kept their items locked behind that gate.
Gavin and me waiting at the bottom of the ladder for them to come back down.
One of our first attempts at a family picture.
I think this one is my favorite. Rhys isn't looking at the camera, but he still looks cute.
Rhys and me with the flowers that the ladies at the Church gave me.
Looking up at the Church.
One of the doors of the Church.
This is the view we saw from far away that made us want to come and see it.