Das Gefängnis von innenDas Gefängnis von StirlingInnenansicht von Holly RudeDie Krönungskirche Holly Rude

Today before lunch we and the whole White family had to "go to jail". Stirling has an old famous prison. It was the first jail in Scotland improved in awareness of new humane ideas in the Victorian ages. The jail substituted the medieval dungeons and should "improve" the prisoners. There are guided tours through the jail and about the history of the penal system in Scotland. These tours are really worth to "undergo". At first we got a rough welcome by the "Chief Officer of the Jail" and after he learned us the rules and a right discipline he guided us with rigidity but not without humor through the floors and cells up to the roof of the building. From there we had a nice view down to the old city of Stirling and to the Castle. After this we said good bye to the young members of the families. They wanted to go downtown by themselves. After visiting John Cowanes Hospital and the coronation church Holy Rude we went to the Wallace Monument. 

On this place it is necessary to say that Stirling with its strong castle is the naturally gate to the Highlands. Whoever wanted to occupy Scotland at first he had to capture Stirling. Two times the Scots defeated English troops near Stirling. Both times the Scots were less combatants, both times they triumphed in result of the better tactic of their leaders and the greater ambitions of the Scottish fighters. So it is no wonder that up to today Stirling is a symbol of national pride for the Scots.             

Das Wallace-MonumentBlick vom Monument zum SchlossFigur von Wallace am MonumentBlick vom Monument auf die Mäander des Forth

The Wallace Monument is located on a rock. The tower consists of some floors and a viewing platform on the top. It was very interesting for me that the exhibition inside the monument handles not only the historical fights and victories around Stirling. The topic of the exhibition was all that stuff the Scots are proud of. And there at first the great Scottish scientists, poets, globetrotters and inventors are presented as the real heroes of Scotland. Who does know outside Scotland that the asphalt of our roads, the air filled tire and the penicillin are invented by Scots?  And who does know outside Scotland that the great globetrotter Livingston was not an Englishmen as well as the poets Robert Luis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? All of them were Scots!

And the best of this trip through Scottish history was my guide, a Scotsman believing in  and proudly of his nation but without any stupid nationalism. I think the Scots are able to educate some Germans a lot in this matter.         

Late afternoon we played Bowling - Scottish Bowling. This game is very different to the Bowling known in Germany. Scottish Bowling is played at the Green. This is a lawn cut as short as I never saw before. Touching the Green it does not feel like naturally grass. Of course its only allowed to go onto the Green in special shoes. The rules are comparable with the French Boulé (German or Italian "Boccia"). But the balls have a center of gravity out of the center of the sphere and so the trace of the bowl goes as more spherical as the speed decreases at the end of the shot. The game was not easy to play but we had a lot of fun. Also the view inside the club was very interesting. The age of the Club is unbelievable for German ones: The Club was founded before 1900 and its members are continually playing at this green for nearly 100 years. There are long waiting lists for membership and strictly rules to take care of the Green. Although it is not allowed to play for local friends and family members we were allowed to play - many thanks to the Club and all its friendly members we met on this day.          

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