Wednesday, 27 May 2009


When our visitors arrive in June we are planning to take them on a day-trip to Alloway, a suburb of Ayr, to see places and buildings associated with Robert Burns. Iain and I made a rekky trip today to see how we could give our Swedish, German and French speaking friends a flavour of the country which is associated with Burns early life, i.e. first 7 years.

He was born in a cottage (which is preserved) in Alloway and his father and mother's grave is still there (see photo). Burns was buried in Dumfries, 1796, at the age of only 37.

This gravestone, apparently, has been replaced 3 times due to vandalism by Burns relic hunters!

A huge Burns' Monument (photo above was taken from inside, under the dome, looking upwards) was erected in 1823 and overlooks the River Ayr and this bridge, the Brig o' Doon (the photo underneath this).

It was across this bridge that Tam o' Shanter fled from the witches in the poem Tam o' Shanter by Burns. This story in the poem is about a man (Tam) and his drinking mates. After much vivid description the poem finally reaches the climax: Tam, fleeing the witches, remembered that witches were not allowed to cross flowing water. He escaped their clutches and all they managed to grab was "poor Meg's [his horse] tail and she was left with scarce a stump".

And then the poem ends:
Now, who this tale of truth shall read,
Every man, and mother's son, take heed:
Whenever to drink you are inclined,
Or short shifts run in your mind,
Think! you may buy the joys over dear:
Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare!


Photo of Tam o' Shanter on Meg crossing the Brig o' Doon is from the Cutty Sark vessel, London

1 comment:

Vagabonde said...

I think your visitors will enjoy all the visits you are planning for them, I sure would, as these places look so interesting.