Saturday, April 30, 2016

Saturday Adventures Resume: Alloa Tower and the Pineapple

Entry for 30 April 2016:

Diane and I finally got a free Saturday today: We're both in town; we've sent our tax stuff to our American accountant; and there's no EFT training this weekend. 

So: After studying the possibilities, we decided to take in a couple of National Trust for Scotland properties in Clackmannanshire today. (That's the bit of Scotland that's squeezed in between Stirling and the Ancient Kingdom of Fife.) Alloa Tower is a well-restored castle keep on the old road between Edinburgh and Stirling, two of the main centres of power in Scotland for the Stewart royalty between 1500 and 1700. So we enjoyed a pleasant ramble around the 4 floors of the this structure, talking to the guides, looking at the large collection of interesting paintings. During the 10 minutes we were outside admiring the panorama views up at the top of the tower we even got to experience the latest of a series of late April Scottish hail storms. 

After that, we needed a bit more, so we hunted down an architectural folly a few miles away, called The Pineapple, because in fact it's topped by a tower in the shape of, well, a giant pineapple. Apparently, pineapples became of fad among the nobility in the 17th and 18th century Britain, leading to the creation of special greenhouses for growing them. It was a bit status symbol to be able to given others' a pineapple as an act of hospitality. Nothing says "Welcome", or "Thank you" like a fresh pineapple!

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