Greetings from Scotland! I’m currently in Stirling, which will be my home for the next four nights. I’m gonig to check out St. Andrews, Glasgow and one more destination that is TBA while I use Stirling as a base. A lot has happened since I last posted.I had to convince the UK customs officials that I wasn’t going to camp out in their country for ever (despite having no home or job in Canada… I can understand why they had concerns) but once that was done they let me into their lovely land and I was free to have more adventures. For reasons relating to paid internet time, I’m skipping over Edinburgh. Please note that this in no way reflects how I feel about the city. I could go on for pages about how much I loved it.
After Edinburgh I headed up to Aberdeen for 2 nights. Here’s a fun fact for any travellers in Scotland: when hostels have green signs that say “drinking water,” it’s a good idea to double check that it didn’t say “not drinking water” before someone scratched off the rest of the sign. Ugh. Anyhow, much tummy aching aside, I’m fine now and have been reduced to paying for water. I did like Aberdeen though, it’s a neat little city. Yesterday I took a day trip to Stonehaven where I visited the ruins of Dunnottar Castle. It was absolutely a highlight of my entire trip so far. To get there you walk for about 4 km along a path that follows farmer’s fields and a cliff with waves crashing below. Well, I must admit that I’m only assuming that the waves were crashing below. I couldn’t see them because of the fog, but I think that the chances that someone has strategically placed microphones with the sounds of crashing waves beside the path are slim. Because of the fog, I also couldn’t see the castle in front of me so I missed the turn to get to the castle. I’m glad though because my wrong turn led me to a glorious billy-goat bridge and an enchanted waterfall. I’m sorry that I don’t have any pictures though because all you would have seen was fog. Anyhow, once I crossed over the billy-goat bridge I decided that it didn’t feel like the right direction any more and I turned back around so that I didn’t have to deal with the wrath of any trolls. After a little bit of exploring I finally found the path to the castle.
The castle itself is in ruins but the owners have restored the drawing room, so you can get an idea of what the inside would have felt like in its glory days. I must say that yesterday in Scotland made me appreciate why explorers went out looking for other lands back in the days of yore. It was rainy and cold and despite my general excitment surrounding the day I certainly felt that I had earned my cup of hot chocolate at the end of the day . . . using water that I boiled myself.