23 July 2011

Vacation: The Road to Stirling

After leaving the Isle of Skye, we drove to Glenfinnan on the side of Loch Shiel.

The loch has been featured as the Black Lake in some of the Harry Potter movies. Another site in Glenfinnan that can be seen in the movies is the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

The viaduct was built between 1897 and 1901 out of concrete, even though it looks like stone.

I also climbed the Glenfinnan Monument.

The monument was erected in 1815. It was built to honor the raising of Bonnie Prince Charlie's standard on a nearby hill in 1745.

The opening to get onto the ledge was extremely tiny, and more terrifying to climb back down rather than crawl out.

But the views were spectacular!

Traveling on, we drove through Glencoe - a stunning area of Scotland.

The weather went from sunshine to heavy rain in a matter of moments on a fifteen-mile stretch of road.

We spent the night in Inverary and visited the Inverary Jail. The jail consisted of a courthouse, the old jail and the new jail.

The old jail, built in 1820, had no heat or ventilation and eventually became overcrowded and unsanitary.

The new jail, built in 1848, was a model prison upon completion. It included heat, ventilation and room for exercising in foul weather.

One of the cells contained a hard labor machine.

The convict was required to turn the crank 14,400 number of times a day. A dial on the side of the machine kept track. If the warden was feeling particularly cruel, he could tighten the handle and make turning it difficult.

Visitors are allowed to try this machine, so I did. It wasn’t tough work for the two times I turned the handle, but it would become boring and exhausting very quick.

When we left Inverary, we drove past Loch Lomond. The day was dreary, and there weren’t enough pull-outs on the side of the road to take a photo.

We arrived in Stirling that afternoon.

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