By Sheena Storie
I went back to my home town in Scotland a few weeks ago, accompanied by my 7 year old grandson.
We had a great trip and I enjoyed showing my grandson a little bit of his Scottish heritage.
We walked the battlements of Stirling Castle, stood in an ancient lion’s den (no lions), and looked with awe over the Ramparts at the imposing Monument to William Wallace – beloved and brave King of Scots in the 12th century. We visited the battle site of Bannockburn where Robert the Bruce (another King of Scotland) defeated the English army and sent then home. This newly renovated heritage site is a marvel to new technology. We stood in a rotunda with 3D glasses and saw horses and spears and arrows and many “Braveheart” men of the Scots army fighting amongst us. My grandson was thrilled.
Then there were virtual characters from the 1300’s, who spoke to you as you walked near them – all very wonderful and scary. We took part in a re-enactment of the battle of Bannockburn and my grandson got to participate in moving the armies on a very large computer screen in 3D. Great stuff! What a wonderful afternoon we had there.
Finally, we braved the wind and the rain and stood on the very hill where Robert the Bruce and his army defeated King Edward’s army and sent them home. We looked over the hill down into the valley through the downpour and huddled close to keep warm. My grandson asked cheekily … “Do you think it was raining during the battle grandma..?. Maybe the English had enough of the rain and turned back anyway” He had to duck before I managed to give him a playful punch…..
In between McDonalds visits, I had my own battles with the larger roads and the 3 or 4 lane roundabouts. After driving on Bermuda’s tiny roads at 20 mph I was nervous to say the least. My grandson was encouraging and sarcastic all at the same time. “Are you supposed to go around the circle three times Grandma. Do you know where you are going?????” “No more McDonalds for you my boy and, don’t say anything until we get there.”
In spite of the faster road speeds and the longer distances I am glad I hired the car as we were able to see and visit a lot of places.
Always a favourite visit of mine is to the home of our football team in Glasgow. This visit was to show grandson that his grandparent’s team is in our hearts, the way he loves his Chelsea. So it was thrilling to walk through the doors of Glasgow Rangers’ Ibrox stadium one Tuesday morning and have a private tour.
The first stop was the team dressing rooms, and then we walked down the tunnel to the pitch.
“I’ve seen this on TV Grandma”, he said and was suitably impressed. We visited the trophy room and learned that Glasgow Rangers have won more cups than any other team in the world. Grandson clearly didn’t believe this until he was shown the page in the Guinness book of records 2014 proving just that.
Then he knew what his grandparents were trying to tell him about this famous Glasgow team. We learned a lot from our personal guide (thank you Mr. Hannah). And we finished up in the famous Blue Room singing a song my grandson had changed the words of in the car on the way there, it began with “Blue is the colour …….”
Again a brilliant afternoon. As luck would have it as we exited the car park and drove around a roundabout, there was a McDonalds, so that just made my boy’s day. (A note to his mother – he did have other meals too honestly.)
The reason for our visit was to spend time with my 97 year old father – great grandfather to our grandson. Both were delighted to see each other again and spent time watching and discussing football…..it was really good to watch them together. They are ninety years apart but bonding as family and as football fans.
We shopped, we ate Big Macs, and curries for grandma, and we visited with family and friends.
On the way home sitting on the plane I asked my grandson so what was your favourite part of the trip. Without missing a breath he said “Oh that’s easy – Bills virtual train rides on the computer. I really loved that!!!!”
Ok , he’s 7 years old and that’s what he loves …but I know he will remember his visit to Scotland and learning a little part of the history – and there’s still a lot more to see! That’s for another trip
But not before i take his brother to Scotland when he reaches 7. Grandson # 2 is counting the years !!!
We loved the country, the castles the history and most of all the people, many thanks to my friends and family for helping us have a memorable holiday
It didn’t matter that it rained every day and we were feeling the colder climate a little – well , a lot challenging to be honest. We had a great time.
Haste ye back