Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back from Bonny Scotland

 We're back!  On Sept. 23, we left home for a conference in the Atlanta area, then boarded a plane for Scotland to visit our daughter Katie & son-in-law Cameron in Aberdeen where Katie works for BP while Cameron is studying theology.  After  nearly 24 hours of bumpy flights followed by a lovely train ride from Glasgow, we were met at the Aberdeen station by Katie & Cameron . . .

. . . and whisked off for our first taste of Haggis, the national dish of Scotland.  :) The descriptions of haggis can be a bit off-putting, but it really is delicious, especially with a whiskey-cream sauce.  Whiskey, by the way, seems to be the national drink--unless it's locally brewed beer, the perfect accompaniment to haggis.

Believe it or not, we only saw two pipers during our entire time in Scotland.  This enthusiastic fellow used to be, according to Katie & Cameron, one they crossed the street to avoid.  I crossed the street to listen to him, dragging them and Herb in my wake, and they had to confess that he's become a decent piper in the months since he started.  There's just something about bagpipes that gives me (good) chills.

 While this is an Irish beer, it's very popular in Scotland and it looked so perfect spilling its foam onto the table that I had to take a picture.   I'm not a fan of Guinness, but I enjoyed the many local beers on tap everywhere in Scotland.

Scotland is in Europe, and one of the hazards of drinking beer in Europe is finding a bathroom afterwards!  Katie and I went on a shopping spree one day, and I couldn't resist taking a picture (after making sure there was no one else in the Toilet, as it's called there) because I just love the buttons--one for a Big Flush and one for a Little Flush!

We toured Katie & Cameron's church, St. Machar, which is very old and beautiful.

We walked along the river, admiring the swans and gracious country houses.

A short train ride away was the beautiful village of Stonehaven.

A two-mile hike along the coast from there . . .
. . . took us to the ruins of Dunnottar Castle, a truly gorgeous spot.

From an upper window of the castle, we watched combines harvest barley in a field perched atop dizzying cliffs above the beach.  You can't beat that farm for the view, but I'd never trade places with the farmer who has to drive that equipment!  I'll take our tamer hills at home, thank you!

Katie and Cameron pause for a photo on the footpath back to Stonehaven, near the spit of land in the distance.

Another day, we took the bus to Glen Moray, a town with several claims to fame.  One is the ruined church which we spent some time visiting.

The other claim to fame is the Glen Moray whiskey distillery where we took the tour, and everyone enjoyed a good laugh at Herb's expense.  When our tour guide opened the vat of fermenting mash and offered to let us stick our heads in and smell, we thought Katie and Cameron were graciously letting Herb take the first sniff.  Actually, it was because they knew that one deep inhalation would just about knock you off the ladder.  Forewarned is forearmed, and I took a much more delicate sniff.  :)

Of course we ended with a tasting!  Cameron had already given us a private, select tasting of different varieties of whiskeys from all over Scotland which gave us a chance to explore the unbelievably wide variety of tastes.  Jack Daniels, eat your heart out!

On the bus back to Aberdeen we passed field upon field of harvested barley with the stalks rolled into round bales of straw to be used as bedding for animals and the barley already on its way to be made into Scotch whiskey.

We took a tour of Old Aberdeen, enjoying the beautiful stately buildings.  Who wouldn't want to study there?

Towards the end of our visit, Scotland's unusual "heat wave" dissipated, and we enjoyed a misty drizzle that did not interfere with us enjoying a beautiful walk to see the Brig (Bridge) 'o Balgownie.

The homes on the other side of the bridge are surely some of the most beautiful cottages anywhere in Scotland.

Our last day we took a bus ride to visit Crathes Castle and gardens.  This castle is furnished and was inhabited as recently as the 70's.  The gardens were spectacular, even in October, and we spent a long time wandering through them.

It was sad to leave such a beautiful spot, sad to leave Katie & Cameron (though we enjoyed our glimpse of their lives there), and sad to leave bonny Scotland.

But they had to get back to school and work, and we had other places to go . . .


  1. I'm so glad you posted! I've been checking every day several times! I loved hearing about your stay and seeing the pictures. Can't wait to see more when we come. It looks divine. Katie and Cam treated you all to some lovely lovely adventures!!! Can't wait for our turn there too!

  2. Sorry it took so long, Jenny. I took SO many pictures, and I had to go through and edit them. Then it takes so long to upload them with our slow DSL. We are, again, so grateful to Jean-Marc for making it possible for us to go!


I LOVE comments so please take a minute and let me know you were here! Sorry I have to use Captcha, but I hope you'll comment anyway! Comments make my day! :)