Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Scotland Adventures... #7

Despite how far I traveled to see castles, there were several castles within a 30 minute drive of Lossiemouth.  One was even complete!  But first let me explain the Battle of Brodie Castle.... (some of this was explained in Scotland Adventures... #1, so bear with me)

On the first day that I went with the group to Loch Ness, we saw a sign for Brodie Castle and decided that on our way back, we'd check it out.  So, we did.  We pulled in, couldn't figure out how to pay for parking (never could figure that out), and we headed on towards the castle.  There was a Daffodil Festival at the castle that weekend, and since we'd arrived at 4pm, we'd only caught the tail end where the people were leaving and the tents were still up...  On the other hand, we did catch a couple in their tartans/kilts and we snuck in the back door through the gift shop and had tea.

We'd heard that the tour was amazing, even though you had to pay for it.  So, I vowed to visit again.  One day after I got off work at 0800 (I'd worked from midnight-08), I had breakfast, went up to my room and changed into normal clothes, and decided to head to Brodie and see if I could get my tour in before passing out.  It was 930 when I left Lossiemouth, so I arrived at the castle at 1000.

There were no cars in the parking lot, but I ventured up to the castle anyways to see if there were any cars at the castle.  Nope.  Nada.  The door was also locked.  I searched high and low for hours posted anywhere, but they weren't posted/I couldn't find them.  I gave up.  I assumed they opened at 11/12 and I couldn't be sure which.  By this point it was 1015 and I had a debate with myself if I wanted to nap in the car and set my alarm to go off at 11 so I could wake up and check again, or just go back to the hotel and pass out.

Back to the hotel it was.  I was crushed.  I was also tired, which might have contributed to the crushedness.  How could a castle get me 2 times?  Seriously?  When I went back to the hotel, I checked the tour guide book that had been in our room and found out that Brodie Castle opened at 11.  Good to know for my next trip there.  Le sigh.

On my 3rd trip there, I was finally successful at being able to tour the castle.  Someone else from our group was interested so I invited him to come along, and we stopped to pick up breakfast in Elgin before heading to Brodie.  I wanted to be certain that they were going to be open.

When we got there, we waited until 1130 for a tour in case more people showed up, but we did walk around the grounds and get some photos of a little entrance room with some old stuff on exhibit.  When we walked out of the room and I started to take a picture of something in the entryway/lobby, I was informed that photography was not allowed, period, with or without the flash.  Me=crushed again by stupid, Brodie Castle.  Nonetheless, the tour was amazing.  So much old stuff, so much history, so many additions, so much money!!

The original castle was only the middle section (with the door) and the 2 pointed cones/spiral staircases.

The skeleton of a dead baby.

Just some old armor helmets. 


Some swords

Brodie Castle grounds

The eastern? side of the castle.  The small section on the extreme right is where you can actually pay to stay at the castle.

One of my very last days in Scotland, I worked the 1600-midnight shift, which meant that I got to sleep all night, wake up just in time to catch breakfast, then head out and have adventures!  I chose to use one of those days to see the local castles, both of which were actually ruins, but still cool nonetheless.

Apparently, my close castle day was also fly-over day for the Tornado's.  They were doing circles around the base.
I passed a group of photographers with SUPER BIG lenses taking photos of the planes flying over, so it was probably a coordinated event associated with the Joint Warrior exercise.

These suckers were LOUD.  

First up was Duffus Castle.

So many planes.

Standing strong...ish.


They started to fly over 2 at a time, and I wanted a photo of that, but missed it.
In this photo, that little grey dot way in the background of the sky is a 2nd Tornado.

This scene made for an awesome panoramic.

The castle had a moat!
Duffus was really just a grassy hill with some rocks on top.  The coolest wall was the one that had broken free from the castle and start to slide down the hill.  I'm not sure home insurance covers those kinds of things...

Next up was Spynie Castle which was associated with Elgin Cathedral while the cathedral was still in use.  The clergy had to have somewhere to live, so Spynie was it.

One of the main towers.


This castle surrounded a courtyard, but there is still evidence that buildings were there.

Entryway from the east side.  You can also kinda see the rounded out area from the spiral staircase in the top left.

View of the main tower from the courtyard.

The white stuff is some of the original plaster that was used on the walls.

Mossy window sills.

Guarding the castle meant someone had to be the lookout!

View from the highest climbable point at Spynie Castle.
Not sure what river that is.

An archway that was growing.

View from the main tower.  Sheep!

This was a sign over one of the doorways.  Even I had to mind my head!

The ceiling of the basement.  I just thought the circle was interesting.

Me standing beside a door.  Maybe Teh Sister could have fit through these entryways with no issue?

Corner of the main tower.


Creepy lookin' trees.

All this was growing on a tree stump.

Snail shell between the rocks of a fence.

Rock fence that lined a property on the walk to Spynie Castle.

I'm not actually sure what this red critter is.  But he was very contrasted against the rocks, so we were friends as long as he didn't decide I needed to give him a ride somewhere.

This was the last of my tourist adventures.  I definitely had a blast in Scotland.  Despite the cold, rainy weather, which everyone but me hated, we even got some snow, so I was in heaven!!  I would love to go back and visit Edinburgh and potentially London, places with old stuff.  But next time, I'd want to take Teh Bear with me.  He is a most excellent travel partner!

And the final shots of my trip were right as we were getting ready to take off!  Shh, don't tell the UK-ians that I was taking photos on their tarmac!

It was raining and the wind was blowing the rain sideways, but that wasn't going to stop us!

Goodbye P-3's!!  See you at home!

Canadian P-3's are the dark grey ones.

We were the last US aircraft to depart!  YAY America bound!

So 2 months later, which did include an almost month long DET to Australia, the Scotland Adventure is finally complete.  Hopefully you enjoyed at least a few of the photos and I explained everything well enough.

Soon, I'll be starting the Australia Adventures, which weren't as many, but there were more photos due to a layover in San Francisco on the way and in Sydney on the way back... and a very awesome rainbow building that I found in Perth.

No comments:

Post a Comment

YAY!! I love comments! Please be aware that I reply to comments via email; please have an email associated with your account so we can chat!