We are not very far from the Lake District, our goal for today, but we can't leave Scotland so soon. So we drive through the town of Dumfries to visit Caerlaverock castle. The day starts warm and sunny, and we enjoy it when we walk in and around this unique castle. In front of the castle is a catapult, a medieval canon with which rocks were fired at castle walls to penetrate them. They were often used in the siege of a castle or town.
The castle itself is unique because of its triangular shape. It doesn't look very big from the outside but on the inside we can see there must have been quite a large number of rooms. The castle was build in 1290, but totally rebuild in the 17th century. And it was destroyed again, as so many other castles in the border area with England.
Drawings show the difference between the life in the castle in different ages and what is most clear is that there apparantly lived more people in the castle in the 13th century than in the 17th. Maybe people needed more room then or they had the luxury that they could use more room. But further we don't see many differences. Now we are another 400 years later and what would we do without electricity, central heating, flushing toilets and showers!
After this extensive visit we drive further along the coast to Gretna where we see this cathedral. Somehwat more to the south lies Gretna Green, on the border with England. Despite the fact that Scotland and England are both members of the Untited Kingdom, Scotland still has its own legislation in several areas and marriage is one of those areas. In England therehad always been severe rules: one had to obtain approval of the marriage and marry in church, while all of that wasn't necessary in Scotland where girls could even marry when they were 16.
When we leave Keswick, we first go to the Castlerigg stone circle, situated on top of a hill with a nice view on the surrounding hills. This picture is of a small stone circle within the bigger one, probably a sort of sanctuary. But what strikes us most is that so many people walk around here, we have never seen that at stone circles in Scotland, it is much busier here.
Then we continue our way into the Lake District, through the Cumbrian Mountains towards Wasdale. The distances here are not very big, but we don't seem to get on: it is very busy on the roads, the weather gets worse and the roads also. It is even getting icy now and then when we have to climb roads with inclinations of 25% or more. It starts to hail and the temperature is dropping quickly. The scenery is beautiful here, but we rather stay in the poor car that is starting to have problems with the steep roads.But the scenery is beautiful and we would like to go to a campsite at the end of the Waste Water, between the highest mountains of the Lake District. But when we have driven a few hours through the bad weather we decide to look for a hotel, since it is very wet and cold, no weather to go camping. Eventually we arrive at Nether Wasdale, on the southwest side of the mountains. The hotel could be cheaper but at least we have a dry and warm place and it is a nice place to explore the region from. And when it becomes warmer, we can always put up our tent.
We take a warm meal at the hotel on the other side of the road and we are glas that the heating works, even in this time of year. It really was much warmer in Scotland!