2 Feb. 2000 - Stirling, Scotland Arrival in Stirling - For The Most Part anyways...
Yesterday was an eventful day, sailing over the channel from Brussels towards Glasgow the view was spectacular. Sunny Skies with only a wisp of clouds here and there. I couldn't help but wonder what a barrier this body of water used to be, and the security blanket it once was to our Scottish Ancestors. Now in the year 2000 you fly over it, can drive under it, and have to stop and think about it, just a narrow body of water outside the plane window. Wow.
The Scottish coast came up very quickly, less than five minutes later, with clouds and broken areas of sunshine illuminating the Scottish countryside. What a rare and exquisite treat this was, I've always flown or ridden the train into Scotland in the dark. Seeing the beautiful green hills and rock walls separating the various farms and estates was very interesting. You can't help but feel the emotions course through you.
It was windy and rainy in Glasgow, making the landing, well very exciting! This white knuckle flyer was glad to get off the plane after only fifteen hours of traveling. Just about there.
What wasn't much fun was standing in baggage claim till everyone else had left, and everyone had cleared customs. No bag. None, zero, nada, zed. In fact now it's the following morning and Sebena still doesn't know where it is. The good news is the precious research materials never left my eyesight the whole way here, including the laptop computer, cameras, and research notes. The bad news is all my clothes and a portable printer are not accounted for. Stay tuned for more on this part of the experience.
Outside customs stood Bob McCutcheon wondering where I was. It was so good to see him again, and during the walk to the car I quickly found out he's just published a new book of pictures and stories about the history of the town of Stirling. If you are a fan of Clan Stirling or a member of the family, this is a must-have book. I'm making arrangements for a review on the website, and information on how to get a copy of Bob's new book. You will be able to purchase copies of the book directly from Bob's bookshop in Stirling.
The photos are fantastic, chronicling the last 160 year history of the town. Many of the photos are not well known, as usual Bob has gone to his extensive collection of materials on the history of the area.
There was a great deal of discussion regarding a new historic research and genealogical trust yesterday, an official announcement is be made on Friday or Saturday. The trustees and founder are having their first meeting on Friday evening. Can't wait till then!
The drive to Stirling from Glasgow was spectacular, even a large rainbow was there to greet us. I suggested to Bob we chase after the pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow since the trust could use the money, but he then reminded me as only a true Scottish gentleman can, that pots o'gold at the bottom or rainbows is a myth put out by the Irish.....
As we drove into Stirling it was just getting dark, and there she was, Stirling Castle in all her glory brightly illuminated with lights. What a wonderful greeting she gave us, shining for all to see and experience.
We're here - and now so are you. Welcome to one of the most special places on earth, the homeland for our clan.
Tomorrow - The search begins - a bag of luggage and more.