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The coast at Aberdeen and via Macduff to Beauly


Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 13 & 14 September 2016

Tuesday 13 September, the coast at Aberdeen and via Macduff to Beauly

A classic car before us on the A944 Castle somewhere near AberdeenWe have reserved a hotel just outside Aberdeen for tonight, not too far from here, so that we can see more of the area today. Not that we are looking for something specific, but I would like to have driven all roads on my map of Scotland. An obsession that I probably can never completely fulfill, but now we see so many places that we would otherwise never see. And besides a classic car, as you can see it here and where Elisabeth is so fond of, we suddenly see a totally unknown castle, somewhere around Aberdeen.
We have a very nice new camera with us, the Olympus TG-4 with GPS function, but I find out that the GPS is rather slow. As soon as we turn on the camera, it apparently still has the latest GPS co-ordinates in its memory and it takes a considerable time before the current location is determined. With a lot of photos, I have to look at the next photo to determine the location of the previous one. Very annoying. And with the castle above we have the coordinates of the place we were before and the next place but not of this place itself, so we have no idea where it exactly is. The owners of the castle will be happy about that.
Rescue vessels at Cove Bay Rescue vessels at Cove BayI can hardly tell where we have driven anyhow, we are now in a busier area and there are many more roads so I have to pay attention to the roads we have been on and which ones not. This way we regularly come across nice and unexpected things but unfortunately also a lot of boring roads, something which Elisabeth, quite rightly, does not always like. Today we drive a lot without seeing beautiful views or special buildings and arrive at Cove Bay, on the east coast south of Aberdeen. Here we see a lot of orange rescue vessels and it seems that there is a training center to learn how to handle such vehicles.
The lighthouse at Nigg Bay, Aberdeen View of Aberdeen from the harborThen we drive along the coastal road to enter Aberdeen from the south. In this way you get to see the city in a completely different way. From the south side we look out over the city and it seems as if you see a very old piece of Aberdeen past the harbor between the modern buildings. We have been a couple of times in Aberdeen but then we came from the suburbs into the old center, now we see what kind of industrial city it actually is.
At a shopping center we drink coffee and then quickly drive out of town again.
You only have to drive a little bit away from Aberdeen and you are back in the countryside with only small villages and especially vast areas without habitation. Aberdeenshire is hilly but does not have such a wild nature as the northwest coast of Scotland.
Then we drive back to our cottage at Strathdon for our last evening. Tomorrow we will go to Beauly.

Wednesday 14 September 2016, via Macduff and the coast to Beauly

An abandoned gatelodge Cottage in StrichenBut of course we do that with detours. Unlike some other parts of the country, there are a lot of roads here and I still have a lot to mark on my map. And there is plenty to see here. If you want to see castles this is an excellent area, probably the castle density is highest here in Scotland but there are also many other historical and prehistoric remains.
Memsie Round CairnAnd so we come across a large cairn at Memsie, the Memsie Round Cairn. This is a well-preserved example of a grave covered with boulders and is thought to have beenm built around 1,700 BC. It is 25 meters in diameter and 4.5 meters high. During excavations a cup and a sword from the Bronze Age have been found, but also remnants from other eras such as a medieval sword and burnt bones, and it is thought that the building was used as a tomb throughout the ages. There were two large cairns next to it, according to statements from about 1700, but they are completely demolished and the stones used for walls that are so often surrounding the meadows.
In the MacDuff sea aquarium In the MacDuff sea aquariumThen we drive slowly to the west where I of course choose as many different roads as possible and at Macduff on the coast we make a stop. Macduff is clearly a fishing village with a large harbor and even has its own shipyard. It seems that the last seaworthy wooden ships came from here. At the edge of the harbor is the Marine Aquarium where marine life from the area and specifically the Moray Firth is shown. It is a round building with all kinds of with fish and other sea creatures and there are always employees who can tell nice stories about the animals.
In the MacDuff sea aquarium In the MacDuff sea aquariumThere is a shy octopus that is lured with food but the best part is the large basin in the middle where you can see the feeding of the fish from a theater. Two divers appear in front of the glass and the commentator makes a whole show of it, giving assignments to the divers (such as petting a shark). All in all a very instructive aquarium and fun for everyone.
Then we drive on to Beauly to see our friends Iain and Cathy. It has been a year since we were here and in the meantime they have both retired and are living alone in the big hotel. And so they have enough guest rooms to receive friends, they say optimistically. But what a job to keep all that space clean. And we are just in time to meet our English friends Rachel and John, who stay here in May and September 2 weeks. We often try to be here at the same time as they do. And so we have a very nice evening all together.

 


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