My Saturday began with a rough start. Not really even a start, because the night never actually ended. Not in a “party the night away and get a second wind to travel the next day while still drunk!” way. No. It was a “I didn’t go out on St. Patrick’s Day because I knew I was travelling the next day like a responsible adult, but couldn’t fall asleep no matter how long I lied there”. I’m pretty sure I spaced out at around 4:30am, but I know I didn’t get any actual sleep. I considered not going, but mama didn’t raise no quitter. So I picked up a very milky coffee from Tesco and walked to the Buchanan bus station.
Our first stop was in a roadside town called Moffat. I walked to the river (River Annan, in case you have a thing for rivers) and sat on a rock as I ate the cereal I packed. Very serene. 10/10 would recommend. After that I took an entire loop around town. All of this took me 30 minutes.
We then went to Caerlaverock Castle which was built in the 13th century. THIRTEENTH CENTURY. That is so old how is it still standing? Of course a big chunk of it is missing because of the English (it’s always the English, isn’t it?), but it’s really the perfect decrepit castle. According to the castle’s page, they do weddings there. If you have to get married, I can’t imagine a better place than a half destroyed Scottish castle from the 1200’s. It even has a moat. Do you hear me? A MOAT.
Next onto the actual town of Dumfries where, most famously, the poet Robert Burns spent the last 3 years of his short life. This town endeared me a lot more than I expected. River Nith runs directly through it (very similar to River Tay running through Perth) and on this particular Saturday they were having a fair along the river’s sidewalk. Lots of cute children on leashes it was adorable.
I made sure to hit up all the Robert Burns sites. You can visit the main statue of him in the town’s center, his mausoleum where his grave was moved to, his house, and another museum on the other side of the river.
In the graveyard that held his mausoleum, we met this very friendly kitty. I’m convinced it’s Burns incarnate.
The one thing that really stuck out to me about Dumfries was how nice all the museum people were. Usually in museums I just feel judged by the staff, like I’m about to do something wrong or break something or steal something or I obviously don’t know anything about what I’m looking at, but the museum people in Dumfries were so not like that. They all smiled when I walked in and didn’t seem put off when I asked for more information. It was just plain nice.