We arrived in Aberdeen Wed 23 May after driving through the picturesque fertile farming region of Angus/Aberdeen. And, yes, fields of gold everywhere. We checked in to the Great Western Guest House. The proprietors, Paul & Wanapat, were very welcoming and friendly. Our room had a big photo of Sydney Harbour on the wall. Cute!
We teed off at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club at 8am the next day. A little cool. Light jumper and jacket stayed on for 18 holes. Royal Aberdeen is a reciprocal club of Royal Canberra. The club and the course lived up to our expectations. A typical links course and quite tough. I was advised to play the Green Tees - thank goodness! I lost no balls (possibly because I was in so many bunkers lol). Bill only lost one but not until the 16th. And, yes John, he is chipping well! Golf was followed by a lovely lunch in the dining room. It is a beautiful clubhouse steeped in tradition.
That night we wandered down to the city and came across The Blackfriars Pub. Half way through our meal, musicians started arriving for an impromptu jam session. It was absolutely wonderful. There were pipes,
keyboard, flutes, a banjo, a guitar, an accordion and drums. One of their friends collected money for the homeless. What great idea!!
Fri 25 May, we drove a little further north to play golf at Cruden Bay Golf Club. A hot day even for Aussies. What an incredible setting for a golf course! Most of the holes were so unpredictable. Those who know my (lack of) sense of direction will understand when I say I teed off many times not really sure where I was heading to. Lol. Luckily the group ahead were a tad slow so we could take heaps of photos. As at Royal Aberdeen, the staff were very friendly and chatty. Irene in the clubhouse said to be sure to tell everyone the sun was shining in Aberdeen lol. When returning to Aberdeen, the decision whether to take to highway or the scenic route was made for us when an accident on the highway closed it down. Sad about the accident but thank you google maps!
Sat was rest and recuperation. I picked up a bug Thurs night (and yes I’m surprised I managed to play at Cruden Bay too) and Bill came out in
sympathy with me Fri night. I’m afraid that as a result, we didn’t do justice to Aberdeen. It’s a large busy city that has been through tough times. There is currently a rejuvenation happening. We did get to witness the Grampian Pride March Sat morning celebrating LGBT and anyone else who wanted to join in.
We left Aberdeen Sun 27 May heading to Ardersier, near Inverness. On Paul’s advice, we decided to detour back to Stonehaven to visit Dunnottar Castle. We didn’t enter the castle but the surroundings were magnificent. Photos don’t do it justice. After brunch at Stonehaven, we drove to Craigievar Castle which we finally found after a disagreement with the GPS. Craigievar is managed by the National Trust for Scotland and John, our guide, took a real pride in his work. And again, some great stories were told. And we are getting quite skilled at walking up and down tight spiral staircases. No photos allowed inside but there is some very impressive artwork, woodwork and tapestries. Craigievar was for me. Balmoral was for Bill. Our third castle of the day. Phew! But we were so close to Balmoral, it would have been a shame to miss
it. Am not going into a lot of detail about Balmoral other than to say, it’s easy to imagine why the Royals love going there so much. And, no we didn’t see the Queen but apparently she was at church this morning.
We then headed north to Ardersier through the Cairngorms National Park. We moved from farmland to pine forest to ski fields as we drove into the highlands. We arrived at Broomlea around 7pm. A big day.
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