(L to R: William Wallace Monument, Overlooking Stirling from atop William Wallace Monument, Stirling Castle)
Our visit to Stirling began with our introduction to the family we would be staying with for our homestay. I had very low expectations and really any excitement going into the homestay, however, it was a real highlight of the visit into the city of Stirling. I stayed with Kim and Ali, and instantly felt at home. We enjoyed having conversations over home cooked meals and while watching television with their four huskies laying about the floor of their beautiful home. I got a real sense of who the Scottish people were from Kim and Ali. I really enjoyed talking to Ali about his life growing up on a farm and also his line of work in construction.
The group came together for a full day in the city of Stirling. We started the day by climbing up the William Wallace monument to get a clear view of the city. For a little history lesson, Wallace was one of the clear leaders in the Wars of Scottish Independence. You also may know his Hollywood blue face from the movie Braveheart.
After gaining the view we traveled to the city center then made our way up to Stirling Castle. Being a person who loves history, going in and out of the walls and buildings within the castle was very enjoyable. It was pretty amazing to see all the monarchs who stayed in the castle in some point during their time.