Saturday, 6 July 2013

Whistlestop Tour of Aberdeenshire

A couple of weekends ago, my dad came to visit me up here in Haggisland. Aberdeenshire is full of awesome stuff, but not having a car, I kind of miss out on a lot of it. So, dad was kind enough to treat me to a whole weekend of automobile excitement! The weather alternated obligingly between beautiful and sunny and miserable and moody. The latter may sound like a bad thing, but you haven't seen gorgeous Scottish scenery properly until you've seen it wet and dramatic. Beautiful!

So, we rented the smallest car we could get and went off on an adventure...



Our first stop was New Slains Castle, which I visited once four years ago and forgot my camera, and have been dying to go back ever since.





 


 New Slains is apparently Bram Stoker's inspiration for Dracula's Castle. I can see why, it's wonderfully creepy. The scenery around (as modelled by dad and I below) - the Bullers of Buchan - is also really dramatic and awesome.






It's just a short walk along from New Slains to Cruden Bay, which is the cutest little town with a really lovely beach.







The weather took a turn for the moody for the second half our of adventures. Soggy, but very picturesque.


That's Bennachie in the distance of that photo, I think possibly Mither Tap? (Which, by the way, translates from the Gaelic as 'boob hill', pretty much. Because it looks a bit like a boob, apparently. Fair enough, but, er - don't all hills looks a bit like that? I'm not sure how this qualifies to look more like a boob than any other hill.)


Next, we visited Dunnideer Fort, which is a super old medieval castle/fort, and thus very much up my street (because I am nothing if not predictable.) Above are the older, outer parts from a pre-existing fort much older than the inner ruin still standing. The ruin itself is below, and is beautiful and old and gah, so pretty! It's thought to have been potentially built as long ago as 890 AD.


From there, we headed over to one of Aberdeenshire's many stone circles - Easter Aquhorthies. This is thought to have been constructed in 3000 BC, which just, wow. So old and amazing!


It is a recumbent stone circle, with an altar-like construction with one stone laid on its side. These are apparently found mostly in the North East of Scotland, although, as with most things about stone circles, we don't really know why.

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