Hello everyone and welcome in this new chapter about my Erasmus semester in Scotland!
Today I would like to speak about one trip that I made in November 2018 in Scotland. My destination was Dunnottar Castle in in the Northeast of Scotland. This one-day trip was very intense because we travelled across the country from the West to the East and we stopped in 3 cities: Dundee -near Stirling that I spoke about in the previous chapter 😉 -Aberdeen in the North and finally Stonehaven.
As for many other cities of the UK Dundee is a rainy place with rarely extreme temperatures whether in summer or in winter.
Firstly, I started my trip with 3 other friends from Paisley where we took the bus. After 4 hours we arrived in Dundee. Dundee is located in the Lowlands and is Scotland's fourth-largest city. It has known a period of rapid expansion in the 19th century with the Industrial Revolution and was an important centre of Industry in the past.
The city's main museum and art gallery, McManus Galleries, is in Albert Square.
Dundee has two universities — the University of Dundee and the Abertay University.
There is one specificity in Dundee which are statues of … penguins! It’s something very symbolic and historical because it reminds that Scottish explorers began their trip from Dundee to discover the South Pole. These penguins are concretely everywhere in the city and they are very colourful and of all sizes. They are cute so don’t hesitate to take a picture with them! ^^
Today, Dundee is promoted as "One City, Many Discoveries" in honour of Dundee's history of scientific activities and of the RRS Discovery, Robert Falcon Scott's Antarctic exploration vessel, which was built in Dundee and is now berthed at Discovery Point.
After visiting city of Dundee, we continued our way north until the city of Aberdeen. We didn’t remain there long so my description of the city will be very short.
Aberdeen is Scotland’s third city by population and is one of the richest cities of all the UK.
Aberdeen received Royal burgh status from David I of Scotland (1124–1153), transforming the city economically. The city's two universities, the University of Aberdeen, founded in 1495, and Robert Gordon University, which was awarded university status in 1992, make Aberdeen the educational centre of the north-east of Scotland.
City of Aberdeen has many churches in a very nice style:
St Machar's Cathedral, Old Aberdeen
Gilcomston Church, Union Street
St Andrew's Cathedral, King Street
Like many other big cities in Scotland, Aberdeen has developed thanks to heavy industry, textile and shipbuilding, from the Industrial Revolution until the 20th century. All these industries have been largely replaced by High technology developments in the electronics design and Oil industry in the North Sea.
We finally arrived at our destination which was Stonehaven and Dunottar Castle.
It lies on Scotland's northeast coast and is located at 79 miles from Edinburgh.
Stonehaven has three Churches of Scotland: Dunnottar Parish Church, Stonehaven South Parish Church and Fetteresso Parish Church, an evangelical Church of Scotland.
Dunnottar Parish Church
We didn’t spend a lot of time in the city but if you go there, enjoy discovering it. It’s a very nice place full of History and legends!
Dunnotar Castle is a ruined medieval fortress located upon a rocky headland on the north-eastern coast of Scotland, about 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Stonehaven. The surviving buildings are largely of the 15th and 16th centuries, but the site is believed to have been fortified in the Early Middle Ages.
The ruins of the castle are spread over 1.4 hectares (3.5 acres), surrounded by steep cliffs that drop to the North Sea, 160 feet (49 m) below. A narrow strip of land joins the headland to the mainland, along which a steep path leads up to the gatehouse. The various buildings within the castle include the 14th-century tower house as well as the 16th-century palace. Dunnottar Castle is a scheduled monument, and twelve structures on the site were listed buildings.
The castle has inspired the very popular Disney movie called Brave:
The movie takes place at the same moment the castle was built and if you look closely you can note very similarities between the castle and the movie 😉
Exploring this Ancient Castle was something very special because there was a very long way to walk before arriving. That’s why when you arrive you feel exhausted but the view and the landscape worth it completely!
This castle is absolutely beautiful and is between land and sea which gives it a very distinct charm. I’ve never been that close to nature in my life. In here, the landscapes are definitely made for artists and poets. They give you a lot of inspiration and peace. It really was a memorable journey when you can take your time and just breathe deeply enjoying how life can be simple and beautiful. And in front of the view even the weather was not cold anymore!
A breathtaking landscape!
Hope you enjoyed this chapter!
Next chapter will be: Loch Lomond in Scotland!