Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Day 15 -- Gretna Green, Kirkudbright, and Dumfries

Wednesday, August 8th

Gretna, Scotland

As we journeyed into Scotland for our one-night stay, we stopped at Gretna Green. Those of you who know Pride and Prejudice will remember it as the place where Lydia plans to elope to. Since Scotland did not have the same laws that England did, many couples would elope to Gretna, just over the border of Scotland, and marry. Here is the Marriage Room, where you can still have a wedding!

And depending on which direction you travel on the road, it's the...

Kirkcudbright -- McClellan Castle

The proper way to say the name of this charming town is cur-COO-bree. Under no circumstances should you pronounce it as it is spelled! Our destination here was McClellan castle, the ancestral home of some of our friends in the States.

But by far the best thing in Kirkcudbright was the little book shop that we stopped at on our way to the castle. There I found a 15 volume set of Charles Dickens -- adorable little 4" by 6" books published between 1900 and 1910 -- for only £1 each! I have been searching for an antique set of Dickens for quite some time, and this delightful set was perfect. The pages are as thin as Bible pages, which is the only way they could fit 900 page novels in spines that are only 3/4" thick. Please excuse my exuberance on all things old-bookish, but I really can't help it!

Dumfries, Scotland

We enjoyed strolling around the lovely city of Dumfries, which was where we stayed for the night. We ate, appropriately, at a pub called "Robert the Bruce." Since they serve alcoholic beverages, I was carded for the first time in my life! I was able to stay because the age requirement for drinking in the UK is only 18. The architecture in Dumfries is lovely, and primarily Victorian. Here is one of the beautiful churches in Dumfries.

In front of the church is a statue of poet Robert Burns, who came from this area of Scotland.

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