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Driving through Angus

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 12 May 2011

Thursday 12 May, driving through Angus

After breakfast we quickly set off. Today it feels a bit colder than the last days. Even in the car we regularly have a sweater on and the jackets are within reach if we want to go outside to take a photo.
We are now in the area called Angus, a county in Scotland with a long history.
Gatelodge near ArbroathIn 1320 Arbroath's statement was adopted by the Scottish nobles in the Arbroath abbey, with a piece of text in which one is still and can be proud of: "For, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom - for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself."
According to some, this statement is not only the basis of the American Constitution but also of the UN Declaration on Human Rights. Then you have to replace the word English with 'others'.
Entrance of Guthrie CastleOn our way to Forfar we pass Guthrie castle but the gates are closed and we have also seen enough castles yesterday. From Forfar we drive back to the coast and go first to Montrose, a small town where in the past a lot of seafaring trade existed. In the time of the Normans, however, this area was regularly looted by the Danes.
Now the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world seems to be the largest employer, although the department in Montrose was almost closed, which would have been a disaster for the local population.
Johnshaven, castle suburb Gourdon harbourFrom Montrose we drive along the coast to the north and meet nice things such as a new suburb in Johnshaven where the houses look like small castles with their round turrets. And at Gourdon we see one of those nice natural harbors. The rocky coast on the east side of Scotland is sometimes very steep and often you have to drive down a steep road in such villages to get to the harbor.
Nice clouds Nice cloudsThe hinterland between Montrose and Stonehaven is slightly sloping and is mainly agricultural land. We drive different roads and when we see all different sorts of skies changing every minute, we stop every few minutes to take pictures. The clouds change from dark gray to bright white from one moment to the next and the sky itself changes from dark to bright blue.
Nice clouds Nice cloudsWith 13 degrees it is not pleasant and there is a strong wind. I quickly get back in the car, and Teije can still play outside with his new toy, a digital SLR camera. Personally, I find that with my 'normal' digital camera I take much nicer pictures.
Nice clouds KirriemuirWhile we drive all kinds of roads, also dead ends where we often end up at a farm, we see that we have come close to Forfar again, we have driven a whole loop. In the town of Kirriemuir we walk around, looking for a pub with hot soup but we do not find any. Kirriemuir is a nice village where most houses are made of red sandstone from the neighborhood.
Kirriemuir Colourful KirriemuirAgain a lot of turrets and curves can be found in the buildings and that is something I miss in the Netherlands. In the center, a small square, a number of buildings have been painted quite ostentatiously. A committee in the Netherlands definitely would have forbidden this.
Castle near Inverquharty Cortachy castleAfter this walk we drive further on deserted roads in the Angus Glens and we regularly see a glimpse of a castle or estate. Especially the Cortachy castle is very fairytale-like but not accessible to the public. Unfortunately, the gardens are also very sporadically open, from May 16, so we are too early.
But there is much more to see in this neighborhood.
Brown Catherthun, iron age villageIn the vicinity of Edzell we suddenly drive between two striking hills. It turns out to be the White and Brown Catherthun, hills with prehistoric ruins. The one probably has a fort, but the walls on the Brown Catherthun show so many entrances that it probably has not been a fortified settlement. Perhaps the cattle grazed on one hill and lived on the other?
Then we drive to Aberdeen where we go looking for lpg and a cheap hotel. But gas stations with lpg are all out of order. And the hotels are already full or too expensive, a story we know quite well by now. 35 kilometers and almost 2 hours later, we actually return to where we started and we drive on to Banchory. We find a number of hotels there and at the third, the Stag hotel, we find a room for 60 pounds. And because we do not know this area very well, we decide to stay two nights, so we don't have to look for another one tomorrow.
It is already late and now we first take a rest and read a little because it was a long day.


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