Friends are wonderful things. Though I had my initial difficulties connecting with people in Edinburgh, I did make some beautiful, fun, and interesting friends who will stick with me for the rest of my life.
One friend hails from Stonehaven – a wee place north of Edinburgh, close to Aberdeen.
For one glorious weekend, she invited three of us to her home. The best part (other than 24/7 girl time) was having access to a car.
To anyone who has experienced the feeling of freedom you have with a car – especially in the vast countryside – after the confinement of a city and the limitations of public transportation, is it not one of the best feelings in the world?
We just drove.
Along the way, my Stonehaven friend made sure we saw the important local places, like Dundee and Aberdeen.
The absolute highlight, however, was Dunnottar Castle right near Stonehaven.
Dunnottar Castle’s dramatic clifftop location, sea views and extraordinary level of preservation are astounding. A seriously special spot!
This magnificent ruin is Scotland’s entry in the “8th Wonder of the World” competition! If you are impressed by these photos, vote for Dunnottar Castle here: http://www.virtualtourist.com/8thwonder “Jutting out into the North Sea, the former residence of the Earls Marischal is most famous for holding out against the might of Cromwell’s army for 8 months to save the Scottish Crown Jewels.”
I am so lucky that I was able to do this wee trip simply because of friends! I can, without a doubt, say that my favourite parts of Scotland are in the north. Summertime in northern Scotland has no parallel, and these photos are just a meagre testament to the breathtaking beauty of this part of the world.