This morning, hopefully, the curtain fell on the Djokovic vs Australia saga, with Australia deporting him on the general grounds of being a moron. Was it a bit harsh? Perhaps. But who really cares. Now on to the tennis, please.
At the same time, England was questioning why they did not go with Djokovic tactics and get deported earlier. Losing the final test and painful Ashes series 4-0, their MVP was the rain in Sydney. South Australian and Hugh’s best mate Travis picking up ‘Man of the Series’.
Back on this side of the world, Eloise dramatically woke up from a nightmare screaming “Mum, my ice cream, it is gone, Mum! No ice cream, all gone!”. After calming Eloise down with some breakfast, not ice cream, we were on our way to visit a castle we have been excited to see since we arrived. This involved conquering “more than 500 steps to stand atop one of Scotland’s greatest strongholds” at Dumbarton Castle.
It had been four months since Eloise’s A&E visit for Supergirling down a full staircase, we figured a long enough time span in case we had to visit again today. It is amazing when you think how much better she is with stairs now, we had to make sure that confidence was not going to be her downfall, literally.
After a short drive, we faced what we were up against as we approached Dumbarton Castle. It looked very similar to Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle. However, this one we had to climb from the bottom.
We had not gone far when the stairs started. Eloise boldly said she wanted to walk today and the hiking carrier was left in the car. We made our way up…
And up… Until we made our way to the top of the eastern side of the volcanic plug, the Beak.
“Dumbarton Rock is a volcanic plug. During the Carboniferous Period, there was a great deal of volcanic activity throughout the region. Remnants of many volcanic vents can be found within a strip that runs SW-NE from Dumbarton Rock to Fintry (NS6186), and which is about 27 kilometres long by about 2 to 3 kilometres wide. The Rock has two summits. The higher one, to the west, is the more pointed, and is called White Tower Crag, after a White Tower which stood there in the Middle Ages; this crag is about 74 metres (240 feet) high. The eastern peak is about 10 metres lower; it is called the Beak, and has a flatter summit area. A deep cleft between the two peaks provides a means of access to the upper parts of the Rock. Some natural terraces have provided suitable places on which to build.”
We then had to work our way back down to start the climb of the volcanic plug west, White Tower Crag, which proved a wee trickier. Luckily the kids did not seem bothered by the height.
At the summit of White Tower Crag, the views across the River Clyde were spectacular and well worth the climb. We could not have chosen a better day for it. Well, no one would argue if it was a wee warmer, but it was crystal clear.
Again, what goes up, must go down…
We tried to lock Eloise in the French Prison, but sadly it was closed due to maintenance.
Come to think about it, there were not many buildings to look in. Not even ruins. The walls, views and volcanic plug were incredible to see, but there is not much of Dumbarton Castle remaining. Sophie rated the views 9/10 and the castle a 2/10, ouch.
Before we jumped back into the car Eloise wanted to have a run about the front of Dumbarton Castle to check out the wonders of the volcanic plug. It was truly chilly with the breeze coming straight off the River Clyde, so we sprinted back to the car to warm up.
Dumbarton Castle (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Breatainn, pronounced [t̪unˈpɾʲɛʰt̪ɪɲ]) has the longest recorded history of any stronghold in Scotland. It sits on a plug of volcanic basalt known as Dumbarton Rock which is 240 feet (73 m) high and overlooks the Scottish town of Dumbarton. According to the local museum, Dumbarton Rock is a volcanic plug of basalt created 334 million years ago, with the softer exterior of the volcano having weathered away.
We headed into the centre of Dumbarton for a look-see and to find some lunch. However, it was a bit of an odd town and nothing seemed to open before midday. We had to burn some time when a “PG” appeared. Eloise made sure that we had seen it and pulled over, “PG Dad, come on, yesss please please Dad”.
It was then to The Glen Lusset for a British Roast and Irn-Bru. It was a nice pub and the food was good. We think this might become a regular stop.
We headed home and failed for the fourth day in the row to get Eloise to have a nap. Can be tricky at times when you are out exploring all day. Eloise got frustrated that Lachlan would not move off her art piece, so decided to make a Mega Bloks bear to scare him. This did not work, so she then performed her scary spoon dance to keep him away.