Week 57: A Couple Really Neat Castles

Well this is one of those weeks when I have no idea what I have done all week.  I didn’t take many pictures and all I know is I was busy.

Thursday evening we went to Elder and Sister Helps flat and had dinner and played some games.  It was a nice evening and we had fun.  Sister Helps made chili and corn bread and we had flan for dessert.  They had to drive us there and then back to our flat because I am currently not driving.  I have been here too long now and legally I can’t drive.  It’s driving us crazy.  Sister Gifford can drive to and from the office but I am learning what anxiety feels like.  I’m not a good passenger.  I have my driving test on Tuesday again so I am hoping I pass this time.  If not, I just as well come home.  I don’t think I could survive if I can’t drive.  (That’s a pretty lazy thing to say, I know.)  And of course, I wouldn’t really come home.  But I would feel like it.

I did some family history with Leif on Friday evening.  He is from an island off the coast of Denmark called the Faroe Islands and everything we were doing was in Danish so I wasn’t much help but I cheered him on.  We didn’t get very far but we did get what he had into Family Search and we were able to add a few family members by googling his home area.

Saturday was another adventure day with the Millers.  They drove since I can’t so it gave me a chance to just stare out the window at the scenery and not worry about the road.  It was kind of nice.  But when did I turn into such a control freak?  I’m not sure.  But I really like to be the one in the driver’s seat.

First stop today was Edzell Castle which is up above Dundee.  It was a 2 hour drive and we weren’t sure what we were going to exactly but it is a castle on our Historical Passes so it is free for us to get into.  To our delight it was a wonderful castle.  The land and original castle was acquired by the Lindsay family who had a some turbulent times in their history.  They were also knowledgeable and gifted

in many ways.  The wall around their garden was decorated with carvings.  One wall held carvings of the Roman Gods whose names became the names of the planets that could be seen from Rome.  Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Mercury, Sol, Luna.

The next wall had carvings for subjects in school.  Geometry, Music, Grammar, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Logic and Astronomy.

The last wall had virtues on it.  Faith, Hope, Justice, Charity, Prudence, Fortitude, and Temperance.

The garden was beautiful and I can just imagine how it would look in the summer when all the flowers were in bloom.   We climbed up in the castle up spiral staircases and really enjoyed the beauty of this castle in ruins.  The nice thing about coming to castles this time of year is we are usually the only visitors.  it’s so nice.

Next stop was Finzean Farms where we knew of a nice little Tea Room to have lunch.  It was a beautiful drive up to this farm and the scenery from the farm was spectacular.  We had a nice lunch and then headed on our way to the last castle.

Crathes Castle is about 15 miles outside of Aberdeen.  I think this is going to become one of my favorite castles.  It wasn’t much to look at on the outside.  Half the castle was destroyed in a fire in the 1960’s and when they rebuilt that section they didn’t make it look like it used to.  It was pretty plain on the outside but never judge a book by it’s cover.  Also, the grounds were spectacular and they said even if we hurried it would take 30 minutes to get through the gardens there so we didn’t even try.  It was raining a bit and we had to get back to Edinburgh because the Miller’s had an obligation they needed to be at.

The really neat thing about this castle was the entire castle was still decorated and full of furniture and everything else you would find in the castle if you were to go there back in the 1600’s when it was a fully functioning home for the Burnett family.  But to make it even more special the ceilings had been painted with all kinds of pictures and on the exposed beams were sayings from the Bible and other words of wisdom.  It was really unique and I could have stayed there even longer just studying the ceilings.  

It was a great day and I’m glad we are taking chances on castles we have never heard of.  It has really paid off with some wonderful places to learn about and see.  Next week we are planning on heading up to Orkney which is an island above mainland Scotland.  We won’t get home until late on Sunday so my blog will be late.  But it should be full of lots of interesting things about Orkney.

I love you and I hope you all have a wonderful week.

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