Saturday was a long day. I was so worn out last night, my brain was not functioning well. My body was in even worse shape than my brain. Toby and I caught a bus to Stonehaven which is a small shipping village near Aberdeen. It is also the village near the ruins of Dunnottar Castle. I had coffee in a small cafe while Toby had a pot of tea and a muffin before starting the hike to the castle. Stonehaven is very quaint; the harbor is small with lots of little fishing boats and sailboats. There is trail from the village to the castle up and over the cliffs, across the farm land reaching out to the sea. The day was sunny and cold, but the wind was not blowing. It made for a nice day.
As we started up the first hill, which was right off the bat, it reminded me of cross-country skiing. Toby and I used to do lots of cross-country because of his weak legs. CC was easier on his knees and ankles compared to downhill skiing, which was always my favorite. Every time we started up the mountain on those skis, I thought, "Do I like this? Is this really fun?" But as we got way off in the mountains and forest, I loved it. That was how it was yesterday. Once I caught my breath, the views were beautiful. I took about 85 photos! The castle itself was wonderful, built over the centuries; it was amazing. At one point the Scottish Crown Jewels, given by the Pope to the kings of Scotland, were kept at Dunnottar Castle when the Covenantors chose not to swear allegiance to the Church of England - lots of Christians died over that. The castle's first chapel was burned by William Wallace with English soldiers locked inside - lots of history. The castle was fascinating, but the fact that it was built out on the cliffs surrounded by the sea was just gorgeous. The hike out to the castle was probably about a mile and a half. The hills were not so bad after the first steep incline. Toby took me down to the beach for a different route back to the village. Walking on the smooth round rocks was not easy, but well worth it. The little girl in me collected quite a few rocks and shells. As we started the climb up the cliff side to the trail, it was not too bad, but the trail was muddy. I asked Toby if he could see my butt getting smaller. It certainly felt like it was getting a workout. My legs were pretty sore and stiff, but I kept going - like the hike up the mountain in Canada (the things I do with my man!). When we got back to Stonehaven, we picked out a restaurant on the harbor. We chose wisely and had a great meal. We drank some wine with dinner, and then had special coffees. I chose coffee with Baileys and Toby had Irish coffee. The crowd at the pub was fun on a Saturday night. Just watching the people was great. At one point a young man came in, who looked just like a young Billy Donnithorne (a good friend from NM). I remember Billy as a young man, and he was a cutie - so was this young man. I tried to take a picture of him without his knowledge, but did not do so well. If I had had one more Baileys, I think I would have blatantly stood up and taken a photo of him. Anyway, it was a fantastic day of history and beauty followed by an evening of good food and drink. Perfecto!
I took this picture of the two of us - Jesse style (holding the camera out and getting lucky).
This where Toby would have spent all of his time had he been a Scotsman at Dunnottar Castle.
Like I said, I tool 85 photos. Many could be meshed together by TFNP. If you want to see more of the castle and cliffs, I will post more - let me know if you want more.