Sunday, 8 July 2007


The weekend before last weekend (sometime round about the full moon, and just after midsummer), Alien Wally and Mags tried to visit the MacNoodle, only to have their path blocked by some folks marching for something. Or against something. It wasn’t clear what it was, really. There were balloons, and there were flags, but it was all rather boring. Where was the toyi-toying? The looting? The cultural weapons? As the buses ground to a halt, Mags entertained herself with thoughts of poppity-pop-pop-popping balloons to get revenge for keeping her away from the fluffy one….

So the next weekend, which was last weekend (before this one, round about half-moon, and a bit further away from midsummer), when Alien Wally and Mags found out that the opening of Holyrood was scheduled for the same time as their visit to the MacNoodle, they decided to abandon ship (er, bus) rather than get caught in all the mayhem. Mags was showing signs of wanting to poppity-pop-pop-pop the politicians’ inflated egos, and so the two got themselves the heck out of the city and went to visit the land of Braveheart instead.

Since Alien Wally and Mags were rather tired of buses, they decided to take the train to Stirling. A lovely smooth ride it was, with beautiful comfy cloth seats, plenty of leg room and a table to lean on. A fairly quick ride too, as 45 minutes later, the travelers arrived at Stirling station.

The main aim of the day was to visit Stirling castle, said to rival Edinburgh’s own. Alien Wally and Mags decided on a circuitous path to the castle, in order to take in some other landmarks of interest. First up was the Beheading Stone.

Located at the top of a hill, guarded by many beasties with Nasty Pointy Teeth (they may look like innocent bunnies, but ye be fooled by their cuteness at your own peril), the Beheading Stone is a bit grim. At first glance it looks just like a big ol’ stone. Then you look closer and you see a few axe marks, and you notice the groove used to channel the blood away, and then you realise that you’re alone on a hill and the wind is blowing all eerie-like, and then you run down the hill as fast as you can, and you pretend that nothing was the matter when you reach the bottom. Haha, how silly, haha! Let’s just go to the bridge now, shall we?

And so Alien Wally and Mags proceeded to the bridge, site of the first major defeat of the English by William Wallace and co – The Battle of Stirling Bridge!

And then it was on to the castle, via a lovely wooded walk over the hill, via a very cuddly grey kitty cat, and via the very pretty Top ‘O The Town Cemetery. The castle itself is beautiful in its magnificence and magnificent in its beauty.

The castle is extensive, so to get their bearings, Alien Wally and Mags took a tour before exploring the castle’s many nooks and crannies themselves… the Great Hall, the palace, the chapel, the kitchens, the gardens, the war museum, the dungeons, the coffee shop….

It has been said that whoever controlled Stirling controlled Scotland, so before leaving, Mags tried to proclaim herself Queen of the castle. However, since her feet didn’t even reach the ground when she sat on the throne, her attempt at world domination was thwarted before it even began. Oh well… it wouldn’t have worked anyway – Mags knows that the MacNoodle really rules the roost!

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