Rebellion

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Traitor’s monument,
warrior’s last stand
Badge of defiance,
duty’s sacred call
After the gallows,
his plight unfinished
An isle divided,
old grudges remain

Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland (It’s a little tough to see, but look for the tower on the hill)
Photo (2005) and Words (2013) by: c.b.w. 

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c.b.w. 2013

A to Z Abroad: Edinburgh’s Folly

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The soldiers fought,
and won the day
Columns were raised,
foundation laid
National pride,
butt of a joke
Money ran out,
honor delayed
Skeletal hill
homage to none

Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

Edinburgh’s Folly or The National Monument of Scotland was originally designed as a memorial to the Scottish soldiers and sailors that died fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. Situated on Calton Hill, the partially built memorial is a constant reminder of the government biting off more than it could chew. After only three years of construction, the monument was left unfinished due to lack of funds.

Several proposals for completion were considered throughout the 20th century, but none of them have gained enough steam to fix what has become a running joke.  To this day, the less than half-built monument stares down on Edinburgh with a sardonic grin.

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Part of the A to Z Challenge!

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c.b.w. 2013

A to Z Abroad: Aberfoyle

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Scotland is probably best known for rugged green hills and feisty, warm-hearted people. I was lucky enough to drive through the stunning scenery of the Troussachs and gaze upon the Scottish crown jewels, but my favorite memory of Scotland is far away from the tourist traps. Hidden in the hilly folds of Stirling is the small village of Aberfoyle, where I  found a little peace from the hustle of a guided tour.

Aberfoyle is a traditional stopover for tourists as the main road passing through the village is considered the gateway into  the Troussachs region, Loch Lommond, and Loch Katrine. While the scenery is beautiful, the small-town charm of Aberfoyle instantly made me feel at home.

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Aberfoyle, Scotland
Photo by: c.b.w. 2006

While the rest of the tour group was herded into a tourist trap, I wandered off on my own into the central part of town. One main road runs through Aberfoyle and it is the artery that connects everything from a Scottish Tourism Office to a stationary shop and grocer.

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Downtown Aberfoyle
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

My grumbling stomach lead me straight through the doors of small corner deli. In this unassuming building, they make the best sandwiches known to man. Turkey, tomato, and cucumber were all stuffed artfully into two slices of freshly baked bread. For dessert, I treated myself to a three layer biscuit of caramel, chocolate, and graham cracker crust.

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Home of the best sandwich ever!
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

Aside from small-town charm, Aberfoyle has the added bonus of offering a nice place to picnic. I took my lunch stream side and enjoyed the natural beauty of the Scottish countryside. My tour group was probably hanging out in a restaurant and I couldn’t help but think they were really missing out on the real Aberfoyle.

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A lovel picnic view in Aberfoyle
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

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A souvenir better than a postcard!
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

It’s been eight years and I still think about Aberfoyle and that sandwich, (yes, it really was that good). This small town should definitely be on the radar if you’re ever in Scotland – just remember to ditch the tourist traps and indulge in a little local flavor instead.

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Part of the A to Z Challenge!

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c.b.w. 2013