Scotland 2015: Day 13

Pulling into Aberdeen! The sun is out and I slept 11 hours – thank you Meclizine.  I appear to have Internet and just found a quarter (well 20p)! This might be a good day!

I am sitting in Aberdeen Harbor and I really feel like I am all caught up! It is amazing what a good nights sleep can do. I am done with ferry boats – I think. I stopped at Tesco and loaded up on junk food for driving and I might have even found a place to get a massage. Now back to my original list. A quick summary: I am just past the half-way point. I have visited 67 places, though only 26 from my original list). I have driven 1400 miles and have seen 34 castles. The bad news is that I have only photographed 4 out of my 58 prints! I still have a lot of work to do!

And look, a mall! I get so distracted.
So similar to home and yet just a little different!
As I said I can get easily distracted.  It is first thing in the morning and I almost abandoned my plans for the day. I almost veered off the path! But I was strong! You can’t blame me,  I just discovered that there is a place, a real place, called “Deer Abbey”! Next time!
The Lantern Tower – Church #10 – King’s College Chapel.
Damn these trees! That’s what 200 years gets you though. Better pictures with my real camera. But I am back to re-photographing prints! Print #5 – Church #11 – St Machar’s Cathedral.
So I stopped for a refreshing massage and came out to find this on my car!  I was bad and didn’t pay it within the 14 days and I had to pay them 30GBP!
Let’s have some lunch.  Mmmm salmon and Hollandaise sauce!
The world keeps changing doesn’t it?
I made my list of which castles to visit back home.  But I didn’t annotate the list with notes on why each place was on the list.  And then you get to a place like this and go “Yeah – I picked some good ones.” Castle #35 – Dunnottar Castle.
That’s the road back UP to the car park!
Such a great day for castle hunting! I was already a member of Historic Scotland, which I joined before I left. At this castle I became a member of the Scottish National Trust another society that gives you free stuff like admission & parking.  Castle #36 – Drum Castle.
They had these all over the grounds – The Cleveland Museum of Art needs to do this!
The Chapel at Drum Castle. Church #12
The perfect pink – yeah it’s pink – tower castle – Castle #37 – Craigievar Castle. I arrived there too late to go inside.
Then again, sometimes you don’t WANT to go inside. 🙂
So that should have been the end of a lovely day – everything I did was was on my list but… I’m driving down the road and on the top of this hillside I see something. Something huge and stone. It looks like an archway – like right out of Star Trek.  I can’t seem to get a good picture of it – it’s just small and the hill is so big. The photos aren’t doing it justice and I have no idea what it is!  I ask a couple that is walking by what it is and they tell me to hop in my car and follow them to the base of this enormous  hillside.
The giant arch on the hillside, isn’t an arch at all. I climb this hill and at the top is the ruin of a 13th century castle!!! Castle #38 Dunnideer Castle.  While it was not on my original list, I felt it was fair game because everything else was done for the day!
It was truly epic!
This was a very dangerous walk. In fact, it was worse going down than going up. You cannot see in this photograph but there are rabbit holes everywhere!
People ask me what I think about as I’m hiking through these ruins. I think a lot about my life and the future – and I also think about the lessons from my dance instructors. This is tricky landscape. I can hear Rachel Stoneking telling me to do it even if I don’t know what I’m doing.  Kristy Clement telling me to lead with a different foot. Heather Young telling me to keep my head up high. And Amanda Clark Tanruther telling me not worry that the ground will catch me. And then I just keep going!!!
My car is the spec at the bottom of the hill – crazy!
Driving down these one-way dirt roads through the forest by myself I keep wondering if there are any big wild animals I should be worrying about. And then I remembered the movie “Brave” and thought to myself: There are BEARS out there!
I pulled up to the hotel and discovered that I am the ONLY guest! The owner made me a nice big steak dinner!
With some yummy profiteroles for afters.
No Internet in the room 🙁 Technically no bathroom either, but I was alone so it was like the entire hotel was my room. That was my crazy day – back to the list in the morning!
Scotland 2015 Totals
Days: 13
Prints: 5
Castles: 37
Churches: 12
Historic: 8
Nature: 9
Prehistoric: 8
Map Day 13: Aberdeen to Fyvie