Banchory / Crathes Castle

Lauren and I were recently tipped off to the fact that once daylight savings time hits, the days up in North East Scotland become a) extremely short [5-6 hours of daylight] and b) a little gloomy. So, we decided that we should take advantage of the sunny fall weather while we had the chance.

We hopped onto a bus and headed out into Aberdeenshire, the countryside surrounding Aberdeen proper which features a plethora of nice towns and heritage sites, including around 350 castles. Our destination was Banchory, a town 20 miles outside the city.

We went there not only to see the town, but also the Falls of Feugh. What makes this set of falls worth seeing is the Atlantic Salmon that attempt to make their way upstream by jumping up the falls. It was a pretty cool thing to see. I don’t think I witnessed a successful jump, though; it’s a tough task that those fishies face. We ate our lunches in a little rest area by the falls, and it felt real nice to be outside of the city for the afternoon. [By the way, a funny thing about Scotland is that they name things backwards. For example, they’re called the Falls of Feugh rather than Feugh Falls, and it’s the River Dee instead of the Dee River].

We also wanted to see Crathes Castle, built by the Burnett clan on land given to them by Robert the Bruce. The thing with this castle is that it is located about 3 miles outside of Banchory. We weren’t able to get on, off and back on the bus with our return ticket, so we had to walk it. Thankfully, it was a beautiful walk through the Shire [no hobbit sightings], especially with all the fall colors around us. When we finally made it to the castle, we were not disappointed. It wasn’t huge, but any castle is impressive to me. The castle grounds features a 530 acre garden that is pretty impressive. Despite a low camera battery, we were able to snap some nice shots from there.

Speaking of pictures, here are a few from my facebook album [Lauren has an album too].

The opportunity to do some exploring around Scotland is obviously a major highlight of being a student here, and it was good to be able to take advantage of a sunny day and take a look around.

I am quite busy with school these days as well. I have my first major paper / presentation this coming Friday for my New Testament Theology class. On top of that, there are two other papers I need to start thinking about and working on, my weekly readings and non-assigned reading to do. And of course there’s reading for my thesis. It’s a good thing I am thoroughly enjoying the material and my classes! The more I learn what Practical Theology actually looks like, the more excited I am to be in this program. I look forward to posting some thoughts from my classes very soon. Just today, in my Pastoral Care and Counseling class, we spoke about the Christian practice of hospitality and it triggered some stuff that I really need to think through.

In short, Lauren and I are doing well. Sometimes I have to pause and let it hit me that we are actually in Scotland! We went for a run to the beach area last week, and I felt so blessed to be here, and couldn’t believe I was standing on the shore of the North Sea. Crazy.

That’s all for now. Time to get back to reading!

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  1. Nice pictures! Love that Castle.
    I’m a friend of Brad Johnson’s. just thought I’d say hi.

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