Dunnottar Castle

Instead of telling you about the computer work I did in Scotland, let me tell you about the adventure I had at Dunnottar Castle. It began when Jessica Heaton, an old friend from Belton, offered to take me on a Castle tour. She purchased a car the day before and this was her first day to drive on the backward Scottish roads.

Stonehaven Path

Instead of driving up to the castle we drove to Stonehaven where we could see the castle in the distance. At the top of a massive hill we saw a small stone building with pillars all about. We decided to visit the the building of pillars first. As we left the car we saw a path above us on a high hill and a bridge before us that appeared to lead up to this path.

The bridge was a foul deception and led to the bottom of a steep cliff upon which was no trail made by the hand of men. The only way up lay in a long journey back through Stonehaven to the true source of the path. Undaunted by the high of the hill, I suggested we ascend it, rather than retrace our steeps which I was fain to do for we were in want of time.

Thomas climbing the hill at stone haven.

At first Jessica hesitated and bid me scale the hill and bring tidings as to whether the accent may be attained by the gentler sex. As I climbed the hill I found the way fair and summoned Jessica to join me. Upon reaching the crest of the hill we were greeted by a a sign with dark tidings.

Do Not Climb

The sign forbade the climbing of the cliffs and issued a curse on all who attempted the perilous path. Leave it to the Scots to put such a sign a the TOP of a cliff and not the bottom.

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At the top of the hill a fair air and a crisp breeze greeted us. As we looked upon the ocean we could not tell when the waters ended and the sky began. All was but a sea of blue above and and the sea of blue below.

Stonehaven Mamorial

Upon reaching the pillared mound we saw that it was a memorial to great warriors who had fallen in ancient war. We marked that the placed seemed used more frequently for weddings than for mourning. The ping of grief had faded into shadow in the memories of the people.

We continued on as we could see Dunnottar Castle in the distance. It looked as if it floated over an ocean of sky and not of water.

Dunnottar Sky Castle

Upon reaching the castle we found the gate locked and the wall high. A gloom came over me for the great iron eagle was to summon me to the far away land of California on the marrow and my only chance to see the castle lay dashed before my eyes.

Locked Door

Un deterred I attempted to scale the wall. Though covered in chain fencing the way was to hard for me for my feet were to big to hold to the fence.

Thwarted

Then we happened upon a hole in the cliff that led away to a different place. I was sucked in by a yearning to scale the castle if only I could find a way.

Help!

The cave led us to the far side of the castle beyond which was a bay filled with seagulls. When I gazed upon the castle I saw that it stood above high cliffs.  I saw that the cliffs could be scaled.

I set in my heart to gain entrance. Jessica the wise knew not to dissuade me for the nagging feminine voice of caution is never regarded and often encourages fool hearty actions. She resorted to filming my ascent until she turned off the camera in fear that she might record my doom.

ascent-up-the-cliff

At first the way was easy. But as I climbed higher I was obliged to work my way across the cliff. Soon I hung above a high drop. Several times my hand holds gave way sending earth and stone echoing down into the rocky foam below. But I refused to turn back and be denied entrance to this ancient citadel.

climbing-the-cliff

At last I crested the final wall. There at the top of the cliff stood a sign forbidding anyone to climb these slopes. Crazy Scots.

Before me lay Dunnottar Castle in all its glory. As I started to explore the castle I turned a corner and hear a mans voice.

“Hello?”

“Hi” I replied

There sat two men. One with a weed eater and another with clippers. They looked at me with wide eyes. Was this a castle ghost?

“How did you get in?” The man with the clippers asked.

“I climbed.” They both stared at me not saying a word. “Does that happen often?” I asked.

“No.” The man said. He was still surprised but this ghost had an American accent so he must not be so bad.

“My plane leaves for America tomorrow and I wanted to see a castle before I left. Would it be ok if I looked around a bit? The men looked at each other and then shrugged.

“Come get me when you want to get out.” The man said. “I’ll let you go out the door.”

“Thank you!” My heart swelled with gratitude for these kindly Scots.

Inside Dunnottar Castle

Photos could not capture the majesty of the place. So I prepared this video.

[youtube width=”500″ height=”400″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul5t7oCazWc[/youtube]

When it was time to leave the man picked up a massive key from a shed and let me out the main door.

The cliffs of insanity

Jessica before the cliffs.

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As we left the castle the clouds parted and a clear sun caused the sea to shine with green life.

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