Monday, February 20, 2012

My Castle Collection, part one.

I'm trying hard to get obsessed with Pinterest, but I'm not there yet. Still, it does seem like a fun way to keep track of one of my favorite collections: castles. Some people collect little dessert spoons, snowglobes, or Spode Christmas dishes. I collect passport stamps, freckles, and castles. Like anything one loves, it's best to let them live on in their natural habitat. Thus, I will not be buying up properties. I would, however, like to keep my collection in a proper place: enter Pinterest.

Today we visit my first three castles -- not counting that weird one in Versailles (ver-SAY-uhls), Kentucky.

My first castle ever was the Tower of London, first visited in March 1998. I had a personal tour guide in the form of my college roommate's dad, Steve. He shared my love of history -- emphasis on the story part of the word -- and adventure, and we both oohed and ahhed when we stood on the place where Anne Boleyn was beheaded. Pretty amazing first castle, if I do say so. I'm still hunting for these photos (they are pre-digital!!), so browse the UNESCO galleries for images.

My second castle? Clifford's Tower, York, England. March 1998. It's the opposite of the Tower of London. Wee and ruined, Clifford's Tower is more of an old lookout point than the castle of your childhood dreams. On this particular occasion it looked down on me from a hill yellow from daffodils. I climbed to the top, bought souvenir juggle balls, and pretended to be Rapunzel while gazing upon the Old City Walls.

Third castle, same trip: Edinburgh Castle. Since March 1998, I've visited Edinburgh Castle six times -- two of them in the past week. It's my favorite, and not just because it's the fortress protecting my current city. It's everything you want a castle to be. It sits atop an extinct volcano, jutting out of the rocks like something straight out of a fantasy novel, high above the city of Edinburgh. Even after you enter the portcullis gates, you wind around narrow and steep cobblestone paths to reach the Royal Quarters, passing several other buildings that date back to the 11th century. On top of the vibe and the view, you also get to see the Scottish Crown Jewels. I'm also pretty sure I've taken the guided tour so many times that I'm licensed to give my own tours. Let me know if you're coming to town, but make sure you're prepared to hear oodles of factoids.

Now that I've spent several hours this morning doing business, emails, taxes, and writing, I think I'll spend some time posting these photos on Pinterest. I'm trying hard to develop this hobby: direct link to my Pinterest Castle Board.

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  1. try this castle for size-it's humungous & has the most idyllic grounds-closed till Easter-got to run round the cross country horse jumps yesterday!

    1. Wow! Would love to add that to my collection ... thanks! I see a daytrip.

    2. Stirling Castle, Ask for Colonel Elliott tell him Alan from Kentucky, a friend of George Gaugham sent you along.