08 August 2012
From Humble to Grand...
Yesterday I made my way to Glasgow in order to meet up with the tour group that I'll be seeing Scotland with! How nice it is to sit back and enjoy the drive and not have to think about driving! We made our first stop this morning at the birthplace of Robert Burns, poet of Scotland. The low whitewashed stone cottage with thatched roof is bordered by a lush garden
The cabbages were magnificent!
The garden was filled with beautiful roses ~ though I seriously doubt it looked like this in Burn's days at the cottage!
Like most of the heritage sites, photos aren't allowed inside, though I didn't figure that out here until after I'd taken a large number of them! The house is just four rooms. Two actually, a Kitchen with sleeping alcove and platform and a parlor. The other two rooms are barn, a byre and an open work room. Despite the small size, it felt quite comfortable ~ until we tried to fit all 30 people from the tour in one room!
Along the path through the town of Ayr, there signs and sculptures that tell the tale of Burn's Poem, Tam o'Shanter. There are references to other poems as well. My first introduction to Burns was through his poem, "To a Mouse", and the "wee mousie" is well featured throughout all the exhibits! I had to have my photo taken with this "wee mousie"!
The "Auld Kirk" plays a role in "Tam o'Shanter" and we got to visit it as well. The new church is directly across the street.
The church yard was filled to the brim with old gravestones. I just love the old carved crosses such as this beauty.
Another stop was to see and walk over Brig o'Doon (Bridge over the river Doon).
I was a fascinated with the mossy cobblestones as anything else!
Everywhere we went that had something to do with Burns also had lots of roses due to the inspiration of his poem, "My Luve is Like a Red, Red Rose."
After spending the morning with the humble dwelling of Burns, we switched gears and visited the grand Culzeen (pronounced Cull-een) Castle.
The grounds were beautiful! While grand, the scale of things was still comfortable.
The gardens are built on several levels and these little towers lead to stairways down to the next level.
The borders were gorgeous!
The blossoms of this climbing rose smelled so sweet! And in my favorite tones!
We had limited time at the castle and I made sure I had enough time to fit in a walk through the walled garden! Massive high walls around this one that must be 12 to 15 feet in height.
The borders were so beautiful! I could have spent hours just enjoying them and taking photos!
As grand and lovely as the castle was, I'd be quite happy in the Gardener's cottage that's tucked into the walled garden!
These vine house also fit within the walled garden!
The vine houses went the entire length of the walled garden. This is about 1/3rd of them.
Near the parking area is a Deer Park, where this herd of red deer was resting under the trees. Magnificent!
And then it was time to head back to Glasgow for the evening. The countryside of Ayrshire in the lowlands of Scotland is beautiful with lush fields over rolling hills. In the evening we had a lovely dinner together as a group followed by music from our guides, the lovely gentlemen of the Scottish Folk group, "Men of Worth"! What a fun way to end the day!