Welcome to Scotland Trip 2005

In the Footsteps of William Wallace, Robert The Bruce & The Black Douglas.

This site is about my trip to Scotland: Lanark, New Lanark, Loudoun Hill, Linlithgow Palace, Douglas, Stirling Bridge and Stirling Castle, Cambuskenneth Abbey and Bannockburn. Main event was the Home Coming of William Wallace, where his coffin was placed in St. Kentigern's Church where he married Marion Braidfute.

Enjoy your stay and don't forget to sign my guestbook!

I am Mike Maes, born and still live in Bruges (Flanders, Belgium) and would like to tell you about my trip to Scotland in September 2005.

In August my favourite author David R. Ross (Convenor of the Society of William Wallace) accomplished The Walk for Wallace, from Robroyston (Glasgow) to London by foot. It was his own way to commemorate sir William Wallace, who was betrayed, captured and murdered exactly 700 years ago (www.walkforwallace.com).

Unfortunatly I couldn't be there in London when David walked the final miles where William Wallace was dragged through the streets and ended at the Church of St. Bartholomew The Greater, where a funeral was held near the place of Wallace's execution. So I set my thoughts on the next event: the Home Coming of William Wallace in Lanark. On September 10-11 the Spirit of Scotland's national hero returned to St. Kentigerns Church in Lanark with a great ceremony and spectacular funeral procession.

For me this was the ideal event to plan a (short) trip to Scotland. I ordered my tickets with Ryanair from Charleroi to Prestwick, rented a car and searched for a place to stay. As I travelled alone, the youth hostel in New Lanark seemed to be the best choice for me. The distance between Lanark and New Lanark is less then a mile, so that turned out to my advantage.

Off course, Lanark wasn't the only place I visited, as the main event in Lanark was on Sunday 11 September, and I arrived in Prestwick on Friday. I've been to Loudoun Hill, Douglas, New Lanark, Lanark, Linlithgow, Stirling, Cambuskenneth and Bannockburn. I placed some pictures in the text, but the rest of the picures you can find in the Photo Gallery. I hope you'll enjoy my story...

Short intro on the first day

My heart is almost beating out of my chest, as I take my assigned seat. Much sooner than expected I will set foot on a country that stole my heart... Scotland!

It's been some 8 years since I started to read about Scotland, and yes, the movie Braveheart has a lot to do with it. Many people laugh when I say this, but hey, next to the historical inaccuracies, the movie was very touching. After all, the moral of the story was correct! Anyway, my plane takes off for a 1 1/2 hour flight. While reading "On the trail of William Wallace" the time flies by, and before I know it we are about to land in Prestwick (near Glasgow). I am always relieved when the wheels touch the ground, and this time I feel the same. I get off the plane, and the drizzling rain and a strong, cold wind make me sure of one thing: I made it to Scotland.

First thing to do is pick up my rental car at Hertz. This is the first place where I hear the lovely Scottish language, although the lady behind the desk is speaking really fast and I have some difficulty understanding every word she says.

On to my first adventure now... driving on the left side of the road! Only 3 minutes on my way, and there is a car behind me flashing his lights for me to get out of his way, because I am not going fast enough. A couple of miles later I have everything under control. Roundabouts are the biggest challenge, so you have to concentrate every single minute. Shifting with my left hand was terrible sometimes, but in the end I got everywhere on time (mostly even faster than planned).

Greetings,

Mike Maes