Sep 09, 2008
Dec 20, 2008
I didn't have a rugby game this Sunday, so I decided that I had better use the time off to do something worthwhile. Ever since seeing it in one of the pre-Scotland departure DVDs about Scotland that I got from the library, I wanted to go and see Dunnotar castle with my own eyes. I found out that it was in a little town called Stonehaven, and then found that there is a train that stops there on the way to Aberdeen. All I had to do was find time, buy a ticket, and go. This Sunday, I did. I woke up a little early because the clocks were set back an hour Saturday night, yet still managed to just miss the train I wanted to catch by literally 1 minute. I had 1.5 hours to kill until the next one...so I walked around a bit looking for a nice place to get some tea. Granted, it was Sunday morning, so not too many places were open, but I eventually did find the perfect place. It has one of those nice atmospheres to sit in with big windows to watch passerbys in, so I got a tea and sat there for an hour. Then I went back to the station so I would be sure not to miss the next train, and grabbed a wrap from Marks&Spencer for lunch later. I caught the 10:55 train and with slight delays arrived in Stonehaven at about 1:40. I was expecting a long walk to the castle, so I was worried that I wouldn't have too much time there since it was only supposed to be open from 2-5pm, but it turned out that the walk to Stonehaven town center was just a 15-20 minute walk from the station, and then the castle was a mere 2.5 miles from there. So with plenty of time, I strolled along the path to the castle, which gave some of the most outstanding scenic views of cliffs towering near beaches that I have seen. I ended up arriving at the castle just as it opened, and walked through the stony gate for a mere 5 pounds. The castle itself was in very good shape, with most of the rooms still in tact. Of course, who would want to attack this castle?...It's nearly impenetrable thanks to its location, and unfortunately was used in the version of Hamlet with Mel Gibson in it. It was beautiful in the afternoon sunlight though. And again, the views were still amazing, all the way around. After spending about an hour and a half there despite the chilled winds, which seemed to get stronger right as I arrived at the castle, I headed back down to the little nearby town. I just got some fish and chips, and then went back to the train station. Given my luck for the day as far as travel was concerned, you will not be surprised to read that I once again just missed the train by minutes, and had another hour and a half to kill. Luckily, there was one, and only one, establishment near the station - a hotel with a lounge and bar. So I stopped back there and got a glass of red wine to warm me up a little. An hour later, I was back at the station, on a train, and headed to Edinburgh. Overall, this was a very good day, and I am glad that I made the trip!!!