Stirling

Last weekend we took the train up to Stirling. We visited the Wallace Monument--a tower on a hill called Abbey Craig--and then walked through the woods and fields to the village of Cambuskenneth to see the ruins of Cambuskenneth Abbey, resting place of King James 3 (he was killed in battle or murdered nearby in 1488).

From there we went into the town of Stirling itself for lunch, and then up to Stirling Castle. The importance of this castle is a good part of the reason why the surrounding area is so "historical": kings lived there, and major battles were fought nearby, including William Wallace's triumph over the English at the battle of Stirling Bridge, and Robert the Bruce's triumph over the English at the battle of Bannockburn, a bit further away.


All the Piping You Can Handle

Here are some photos we took at the World Pipe Band Championships at Glasgow Green.

We listened to the twelve finalist Grade 1 (top-tier) bands play their medley event and then walked around the grounds taking in the many other things going on. The sound of pipes and drums came continuously from all directions as bands tuned, marched and performed in several different competitions at once. It also poured rain for a bit, but, you know. Scotland.

The Grade 1 finalists were a mix of Scottish and international, including a handful of Canadian bands. I decided to cheer for Simon Fraser University, for no particular reason other than patriotism. Sadly, despite my support, SFU failed to unseat the Northern Ireland band Field Marshal Montgomery, who won their forth straight world championship. 

Cycling in the Rain

We awoke to the sound of helicopters hovering overhead, which could only mean one thing: the Commonwealth Games Road Race was on!


We didn't make it outside in time to see the women's race (doh) but we walked down to the corner of Byres Road and University to see the men do a few of their twelve laps around the city.

When the leaders went by us, there was actually a Canadian in second place--trailing the leader from the Isle of Man, but well ahead of the pack--and I yelled "Go Canada!" as he was cheered along by the crowd. Unfortunately, when we checked back a few laps later he'd lost his position.

In a few my photos the sun was shining but don't be deceived: the riders were slogging through downpours for most of the race.

We went back out to catch the leaders go by on the final lap. Here they are in the order they finished (Wales, New Zealand, England).



Relocating

Since I’ve been with Shengrong I’ve occasionally wondered if I’d ever end up following her to another country. Turns out the answer to that is yes, but instead of, say, China, that country is Scotland. She’s been offered a great job in Glasgow, and I have a job that travels well, so off we go. 

I decided to make this blog so I’ll have a place to post updates on our progress and eventually photos of our new home. At the present stage of our adventure, we’re in Ottawa, disposing of the vast majority of our wordily possessions (anyone want to buy a dining table? How about an air conditioner?) and working out the logistics of our move. The plan is to be in Glasgow sometime this summer. 

Wish us luck!