To those of you who are trying to understand our zigzag itinerary to date and are confused we will explain the reasoning behind this and why we have not yet reached our original destination of the Isle of Skye after 6 weeks. There are three things that have influenced our trip so far.
The first was catching up with my brother in the Lakes District on 13 May which meant we had 2 weeks in North Wales before heading to Scotland. The second was we had to be at the Feis Ile Whisky and Music festival on Islay from 26 May to 2 June (we were there 28 May to 1 June), so we visited Oban, Glencoe and Fort William before heading over. The third reason is we are meeting up with ex workmates and friends Nigel and Carolyn in Inverness on 6 June, so we decided to drive 350 kms to Aberdeen today. We will continue towards Inverness along the coastal route on Monday to be in Inverness on Tuesday afternoon. Following this we will definitely heading to Skye.
After stating overnight at the Kennacraig Ferry Terminal carpark we drove to Ardrishaig on Loch Fyne where the Crinan Canal starts its 9-mile journey to the Sound of Jura. This was designed to avoid the long voyage around the south end of the Kintyre Peninsula. We didn’t see any boats going through today, but it works on the same principal as Neptune’s Staircase.
After a very long drive of 7 hours we reached our destination of Aberdeen late in the afternoon. Tonight, we found a camp along the Esplanade on the shore front.
This morning, Sunday we drove to the Aberdeen Town Centre and visited the Northlink Ferry Terminal to investigate the cost and times of voyages to the Orkney and Shetland Islands. We will have to look into this a little bit more before we decided if this is worth it.
Our next place we visited was the Aberdeen Maritime Museum which is situated on the historic Shiprow, which in 1281 was one of the most important streets in the city because it led from the harbour to the heart of Aberdeen. The museum tells the story of the city’s relationship with the North Sea with collections about shipbuilding, fishing and port history and the only place in the UK where you can see displays on the North Sea oil and gas industry. It is a very good recount of the maritime history.
We then went to the Tolbooth Museum which is one of the best preserved 17th century jails in Scotland. It features displays on local history and the development of crime and punishment through the centuries. There are two sets of tiny curved stone stairs leading up to the cells with original doors and barred windows, a very tight squeeze and it emanates a very eerie feeling and even worse coming down! One of the displays is of the guillotine used in the 17th century and the head plate worn for punishment of gossiping.
Last stop today was the Torry Point Battery which is an artillery battery overlooking the city’s harbour since 1860. It was originally constructed for nine guns with a defensible barracks at the rear. Today only a section of it remains. From here you can see where we stayed last night and tonight.