From the castle I headed to the Wallace monument, but with a short stop first to track down the microbrewery in Bridge of Allan. It was really a small room tucked behind the Queen’s Hotel, in which Craig, a young guy with a long ponytail, was reading a book.When I walked in he leapt to his feet and began pouring me tasters of beer. I tried raspberry, honey and ginger-flavoured beer, dark ales and blondes and bitters. Craig told me about their whiskey beer, and the flavoured one they make for Christmas called ‘Turkey Stuffing’, and also about his friend’s World of Warcraft trading card collection. I bought three beers, one of which, of course, was called ‘William Wallace’.
(That’s right, I buy beer as a souvenir. My dad will be so proud when he reads that).
So then on to the Wallace monument; where I discovered I’d have to climb a very large hill, and then another 246 stairs to the top. ‘No worries‘, I told myself. ‘I’ve climbed Croagh Patrick.’ I’ve not climbed Croagh Patrick, however, after taste-testing 11 kinds of beer.
I made it to the top, though, and saw Wallace’s sword, and the view from the summit of the tower, where you can see umpteen historic battlefields.
There was no Wallace re-enactor, unfortunately, despite the fact that it was the anniversary of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. It took me a moment to realize that perhaps September 11 isn’t a day you want to highlight.
Now I can’t wait to start my Scottish history class.