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Gail Paton Holm and horses at Iceland’s Laxnes Farm. Our guide said the TV series Game of Thrones used horses from this farm.

Gail Holm standing by Icelandic horses

Gail at the gate to Sterling Castle. The plains around Sterling were the location of three significant battles between English and Scottish armies. The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 was a battle of the First War of Scottish Independence where, the forces of Andrew Moray and William Wallace defeated the English forces. At the battle of Falkirk in 1298, the English army defeated Wallace. Robert the Bruce defeated the English at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

More important to us, Gail’s Paton ancestors lived in Sterling and the villages around Sterling: St Ninians, Bridge of Allan, Bannockburn, and Falkirk. We stayed at a hotel in Grangemouth, the town where Gail’s grandparents had ended their days, but the street they had lived on was gone, disappeared under an industrial park.

Gail Holm standing at the gate to Sterling Castle, Scotland

Gail seen at a visit to The Kelpies, 30-meter-high horse-head sculptures located between Falkirk and Grangemouth, Scotland. They depict legendary shape-shifting water spirits.

Gail Holm in front of the large horse head sculptures in Falkirk, Scotland

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