Visiting Dunnottar Castle with Sarabeth Jones and Alison Chino (13) © 2014 . All rights reserved.

Dunnottar Castle: wild & windy

The first Saturday after we arrived in Scotland happened to be my birthday, so we all piled into the Chinos car to celebrate with a trip down the road to Dunnottar Castle.

Visiting Dunnottar Castle with Sarabeth Jones and Alison Chino (17)

And I do mean piled. European cars are weensy, y’all. Combine that with the whole wrong side of the road thing and I was white-knuckling it for a lot of our drives.

Visiting Dunnottar Castle with Sarabeth Jones and Alison Chino (15)

Visiting Dunnottar Castle with Sarabeth Jones and Alison Chino (13)

Dunnottar is a lovely castle ruin, jutting right out over the North Sea. We climbed waaaay down the winding trail, then waaaay back up the other side to reach it. I guess the Scots of long ago didn’t have future out-of-shape Americans in mind when they hacked away at the connecting piece of land. You can’t help but grin as you go, though – waves are crashing, gulls are screaming, wind is blowing, and floating out over it all is the sound of bagpipes from the top of the cliffs. It’s like you dropped right into Braveheart.

Visiting Dunnottar Castle with Sarabeth Jones and Alison Chino (14)

Visiting Dunnottar Castle with Sarabeth Jones and Alison Chino (20)

Once inside, it’s easy to lose yourself in the half-buildings that remain, reading over the incredible history of the place –  Dungeons! Smuggled crown jewels! William Wallace! oh my! – gazing through long-ago windows out over the sea.

 

Visiting Dunnottar Castle with Sarabeth Jones and Alison Chino (19)

 

Visiting Dunnottar Castle with Sarabeth Jones and Alison Chino (6)

 

Visiting Dunnottar Castle with Sarabeth Jones and Alison Chino (18)

 

Visiting Dunnottar Castle with Sarabeth Jones and Alison Chino (16)

 

Eventually we came back out of the ruins and wound down even farther to the beach – I’m using the term loosely again – where there were rocks of every shade and tiny creatures to discover in the tide pools. We finally tore ourselves away when our stomachs started growling and headed back to the car for our promised next stop – the best fish and chips in Scotland.

 

Visiting Dunnottar Castle with Sarabeth Jones and Alison Chino (3)

 

More about those in the next post. YUM.

In June of 2014, my daughter Elizabeth and I went on an absolutely incredible trip together visiting the Chinos in Aberdeen, Scotland, staying in Paris, France for a couple of days, and doing mission work in Migori, Kenya. I took a bazillion pictures and am writing about it all and you can read more posts from the trip here, if you’d like.