Stirling, Scotland

“Could you crush a man with throw?”

“I could crush you. Like a worm.”

“You could?”

“Aye.”

“Well then do it.”

“You’ll move.”

“I will not.”

“He’ll move.”

We often recite such lines to each other from one of the best movies of all time: Braveheart. The Scots love it for being solely responsible for the boost in Scottish tourism over the last 15 years, but they hate it for its historical inaccuracies. Apparently, Mel Gibson wasn’t actually alive back in the 13th century! And a bunch of other things we only half listened to.

Because of our love of this movie, we had to make a pilgrimage to Stirling to see the William Wallace Memorial. It’s quite the monument. We weren’t sure if we were headed in the right direction, but locals confirmed that it was “that big tower-thing on the hill”. We crossed the “wee bridge” in the directions given to us for our “wee walk” and walked a forest trail up to the monument. After paying an entrance fee…of course.

That big tower-thing on the hill.

Piper in the forest.

On the side of the monument is a huge statue of William known as the “Wee Wallace” to indicate the size of the real man (estimates run at 6’6”). The Scots never use the word “wee” to actually mean small. If it’s a “wee walk”, it’s a long walk that’s still easily doable. It’s used in a self-deprecating way very similar to the half-jested modesty of the Irish.

The Wee-Wallace

Outside the monument, an actor / historian wearing Wallace’s crest gives a rallying speech to encourage we loyal Scots to fight the English (or at least to cheer against their World Cup team…which lost yesterday. The Scots must be happy).

We'd follow him into battle.

Inside was Wallace's Sword. Our target.

We, through a series of complicated rouses and Mission Impossible-like stunts, stole the sword and tried to make a break across the battlefield of Stirling.

But a group of angry Scots chased us.

James ran all the way to Bannockburn—getting lost in the actual town before finding the battlefield—to hide behind the statue of Robert the Bruce.

James, the decoy, leading the Scots away from Brice and the Sword.

So, you’re probably all wondering: Did Brice escape with the sword? Did he kill Nessie with it? Is there now a replica hanging at the William Wallace monument while the real sword is sailing back to Canada on the ship of the Dread Pirate Roberts?

We’ll never tell.

Unless you buy us a pint.

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