Day Sixty

Oh my. Day sixty. Tell me, exactly where did those last 60 days go? I
can see now the value in keeping this diary, as time does literally just
fly by.
Scotland is indeed the land of castles, and today we visited another
one, even more a fairytale than the last…as this one was pink! Pink!
Craigievar castle was built in 1610 and was a family home to the
Forbes family with various title holdings up until 1964 when it was
sold to the National Trust The last three children, girls, are still very
much associated with it. We were treated to a guided tour,
complete with family skeletons: second sons who didn’t inherit, first
SOS who squandered the family fortune, those who built it, let is go
to ruin, and those who repaired it. Tours are Always a great way of
understanding a place, I think.
Apart from the pink, the most remarkable feature of the castle is its
extraordinarily detailed moulded ceilings, made between 1625 and
1626 by an Italian artisan. Still intact in all bar the fifth floor, they are
quite spectacular.
The pink colour we learn, is a natural pigment in the limestone that
form the castle’s exterior walls, and that most of the building was
formed with local stone and pink granite. If you had to have a castle,
pink would be kind of cute….
After our tour we walked the grounds which are also home to red
squirrels, sadly under threat from the grey ones, badgers and deer.
Nary a whisker or a tail to be seen, of course.
We did however see magnificent trees planted in the 1800s, quite a
few with trunks over 100′ feet wide. Beautiful. The castle is on a hill
and the distant views are spectacular.
After the tour and a late lunch, we continue our tour down the
eastern coast, this time on the Coastal tourist route.
Our landscape has changed again. We now drive through different
colours, yellows and golds have joined the forest and grass greens.
The fields now are grain crop, mostly wheat I think, golden in the
sun. Indispersed with green vegetable crops it’s a very pretty scene.
The grain crops are criss crossed with tractor tracks, it’s just lovely.
We intend to stop at Montrose, but that proves a challenge and we
end up driving further south to Arbroath, on the sea. This area
seems to be a wheat belt, golden fields stretch as far as the eye can
see, and sheep graze in fields of cut broccoli. They must like the
stems as a change from grass.
We settle on the ocean front. We have a full moon tonight, and it
sparkles across the water. It’s very romantically pretty and makes a
fine accompaniment to an after dinner liqueur.

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