Saturday, July 25, 2015

Glamis Castle, childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother

The front of Glamis Castle, built in the classic Scottish L-shape.
Glamis, pronounced Glams, is the Seat of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne. The same family has lived here since 1372.  (That's a bit mind boggling;  I've never lived anywhere longer than 20 years.)  Since it is privately owned, the admission has to be paid; 10 pounds each for seniors.  The castle is only visited by guided tour.  No pictures allowed.

Memorial to Princess Margaret, the current Queen's sister, who was born at Glamis.
Our guide was excellent!  Good information imparted with a touch of humor.  My favorite story involved one of the Lairds who loved his card games.  He started playing one Saturday evening with friends, and near midnight his servants came to say it was almost time to stop, as gambling wasn't allowed on Sundays.  He sent them away saying he would play until the end of the world and the Devil be damned!  About that time a stranger came to the door, was invited in and introduced to the Laird, who invited him to join their game.  The group played until dawn, when the stranger introduced himself as the Devil by saying they would keep playing until the end of the world.  In the large hall we were in, there is an area that has been walled up.  On the outside is a window, also blocked. They say if you are in the hall late on a Saturday, you can hear laughter and card games going on, from inside the space.   We enjoyed the visit to the castle and all the memorabilia to be seen.  We were also given enough time to look at everything.

The Queen Mother's new garden gate, dedicated on her 80th birthday.
The gardens were a disappointment.  Not well maintained, and in the walled garden, not even any old plantings.  Most looked to be under 2 years.  There were gardeners working in the walled garden, putting in new water features, so I guess they are trying.
View from the gardens back toward the Castle.
After having visited other privately owned estates, we both felt this one could be better run.  Perhaps they should visit Chatsworth to see how they do it!

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A Evening Visit to the Eiffel Tower

 Our Airbnb apartment was very close to the Eiffel Tower, so after dinner, we walked over to say Hello!