#Scotland 2015 – Sept 17, 2015
Our first stop on our “abbeys and castles” tour was the nearby railway station at Insch. If I recall correctly, it was mentioned in A Shadow in the Past and if not in it, definitely in the sequel – Shadows from Her Past – in the village of Duninsch. So, rather than need a photo for a book trailer after returning home, we stopped for a few photos.
Historic Scotland has created sat nav maps and driving directions to their properties. We used this to get to the cathedral in Fortrose and Fort George. Now, it was to get us to Deer Abbey (sounds like an advice column).
The porticoed entrance to the abbey is impressive. Most of the abbey was destroyed in 1854 when the land was owned by Admiral Ferguson. He used the stone to build a mausoleum for himself. But in 1926 the Roman Catholic Diocese came into possession of the property and they destroyed the mausoleum. Can we say karma?
I’d wanted to go to Slains Castle for a long time and this year we finally made it. There is a small car park by the main A975 road and you can either walk or drive the rest of the way from there. We opted to leave the car and walk in.
At first glance, you think the road is gravel but it’s really crushed shells.
The place is massive! The picture below really doesn’t do the size of it justice.
Even from this angle out on the cliffs, you don’t see all of the castle. It goes on and on through archways and doors. Rooms and still more rooms.
You can see why this location inspired Bram Stoker. He penned the story while staying in a hotel in Cruden Bay.
Vampires or no vampires, something bit me on the back of my wrist – not once, but twice. The bites were the perfect distance apart to be from the fangs of a vampire. Missing my neck by that much, I would have to say a very near-sighted vampire. Perhaps it was revenge for getting my wee piece of the castle to bring home?
On our way back to the car park, we stopped at an entrance to the field and got some shells that were still 95-99% intact.
We drove to nearby Newburgh for a couple of pictures for book trailers then to Trinity Cemetery in Aberdeen… yup more book trailer photos. Then across the A944 (aka Westburn Road) to get photos of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary then a wee bit of a backtrack to Queens Road for a photo of one of the villas there and I had all my book trailer photos. I wanted to get these last two locations (hospital and villa) when we came in to Aberdeen on the train but we ran out of time.
Then it was back ‘home’ and an evening of convivial company with our friends… and consumed a few bevvies as we talked about our day.