June 25: Stirling and Pitlochry

Monday was a busy day! We woke up and checked out of our hotel to head to St. Giles Cathedral. We were joined by Alex, our tour guide for the rest of the trip. Since the cathedral is open to the public, people were milling about as we rehearsed and performed. Our beautiful faces can be found on many an international camera roll! We ended up with a very modest crowd for our performance. The acoustics in the church were incredible. Various listeners came up to Dawn after our performance to say how stunning we sounded.

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During our drive out of Edinburgh, we saw three bridges crossing over the Firth of Forth. We were confused by signs for the Forth Bridge and started looking for a fourth bridge until we realized we need to brush up on our spelling. Our major stop of the day was at Stirling Castle. The castle is really a magnificent sight since it appears right in the middle of the landscape on an imposing mound of rocks.

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During our tour of the castle, we learned that James V (father of Mary Queen of Scots) wanted the castle to send a clear message about how powerful and tough he was. So, naturally it is decorated with the manliest creature of all: unicorns.

The castle afforded breathtaking views of the mountains, and we even spotted a Scottish Camel’s Hump, plus a monument to William Wallace (also known as Mel Gibson). In the evening, we arrived at our hotel in Pitlochry– the aptly named Atholl Palace Hotel where we wished we had stayed more than one night! It’s not every day you get to sleep in a palace, after all.

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Our humble abode for the night in Pitlochry

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