Monday, 13 April 2009

Thar Wee Toon ov Inverary

Happy Easter everyone! I didn't think I would get anything this year but lo and behold I scored! And when we went out into the car Christine found another egg for Julia and I! Yippee! After a traditional Scottish cooked breakfast (vegetarian) consisting of beans, has browns, toast, eggs and potato scones I thought my heart would pack it in. But it didn't and we motored off to have a look at the lovely Scottish countryside. No heather but lots of daffodils. We drove past Loch Lomond and Loch Fyne. We stopped at a little town called Inverary which was very sweet. It had all white old buildings and the sun was out so I didn't need a coat. You know what sunshine means... ice-cream! After ice-cream we went and looked at the Inverary jail which was complete with hilarious wax figures. Here is the guard of the jail. Note that he's really looking at Julia... ...and so this resulted. I guess the jail really makes you think about what's important. Kissing wax figures? Not just kissing... I got lucky too... ...sexual harassment lucky... No idea what the figure was supposed to be doing. I'm just very creative. Anyway we went inside the jail and found more hilarious figures in want of hilarity. And so it would be. I find it funny that I've come all the way from Australia (convict town) and I get to Scotland and I'm imprisoned again! My ancestors could sympathise.

The jail tour begins with tales of torture from the past. My goodness they were ruthless! Women who committed adultery would get their hands cut off and hanged. Most men would get their ears nailed to the gallows and then eventually hanged. Fun fun. They were so awful hundreds of years ago. I mean there was no consideration for human life. Bleh. They were brutal.
Inside the place they had a real life court room with figures in a frozen trial and a recording of the transcript. I walked in there and had to really check which of the figures was wax and which were other tourists! Try and guess in this photo...
Most amusing. Because we were mucking about we got punished. Julia asked this guy for a photo but he just locked us up. Shame. I was having such a lovely day.

He was quite determined to keep us in there. This was an exercise cage so he made us walk up and down for a while. We were laughing and joking but he kept a straight face. There weren't many people in the jail (tourists) so this guy's job must have been pretty boring. Unless he wasn't paid... he was just... dressing up sneaking in and locking up young women... hmm... Onto the old jail! There are actually two jails in this place. The old one was built first (in the 19th century) and is the epitome of hell. Overcrowding, disease, insanity, starvation, asphyxiation and that's all in one very small room! There were women and men in the same room which didn't go down too well for the women I assume. They even put children in jail for theft. One little girl of seven was thrown in this place for a couple of weeks because she stole a turnip. As you've gathered this old jail was so awful that they built a new one years later and made the old one for women only. Charming.

This new jail was one of the best in the land. Talk about opposites. It was so much better than the other jail that I decided to take a nap in their luxurious hammocks.

This jail seemed awfully proud of its bathroom facilities. Every level would boast a working WC. Some of them flushable others 19th century style boxes. They would also explain the bathing habits of the inmates. They would only bathe every two weeks! Here's one now...

I guess Julia is helping. I found some guy on one of the impressive loos.Hehehe. I think he was a wax figure... In this jail people were saying that the prisoners had too much of an easy time so they made them do pointless tasks. These weren't even tasks that gave back to society. These were pointless tasks. There was a crank that prisoners had to turn a certain number of times a day. It wasn't easy to turn so they got a workout. There was another one that was a giant wheel and several inmates could be on it at once. It was like a rat exercise wheel. Which served no purpose. If they didn't do their pointless tasks they would be whipped. It was mostly little boys that would be whipped in their several day sentence. They had a photocopied book of all the records and there was only one 15 year old boy - the rest were younger! They never whipped girls but Julia felt the need. It was funny because when we walked into that room there was a big fat white guy on the table and some little woman whipping him. He was squealing and the onlooker was laughing. It was quite weird. I was hesitant to get on that table with them still in the room...

My jail sentence had been served so we let and had a walk around the town and found a lovely soap shop and a lovely sweet shop! Both of which were packed with people after we got inside so we set the trend. We took a walk along the lake and marveled at the sunshine and the pretty lake/loch. Here it is... Loch Fyne...

After this Loch we drove back and passed Loch Lomond and then stopped in Luss. Luss is the town where Julia wants to get married some day. There was this little souvenir store where they were giving away the most delicious short bread I've ever tasted. Looking at this picture Luss looks at lot like Loch Fyne but trust me it's a different location. After this pit stop we went and had dinner further down the track. It was delicious and then we went home and to bed. I was yawning all the way home and I couldn't work out why because the sun was still up. It was 8! No wonder I was yearning for my pajamas. Hope you had a good Easter!

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