This past weekend we enjoyed the use of a (tiny!) rental car. We stocked up on items that are heavy to carry (canned goods, laundry detergent, etc), enjoyed a nice dinner out for Mark's birthday and also escaped for two separate day trips.
First we headed to Stonehaven/Dunnotar Castle about 30 minutes or so outside of Aberdeen (well, where we live in Aberdeen). We are blessed to have such a gorgeous place only minutes from us! If you come see us we'll have to take you to this magnificent location! God gave us great weather for our exploration of the ruins of this old fortress set atop a mountain/cliff on the sea. I got to practice my photography skills with the camera Mark got me for my birthday. As he said, this place was "a photographers heaven!"
Sunday we visited a different church closer to our flat. While it was not a bad church we think the other church (Gilcomston South) is more what we are looking for while we are here. It is weird that we have only been to this church 3 Sundays but already feel a part of it. Maybe it's because we've been to 5 services and had lunch with 12 church members on two separate Sundays. Plus, we really value the tradition the church family has of talking for up to an hour after both morning and evening services. We hope to meet with the pastor of Gilc (as they refer to it as) this week or next.
After church we ate lunch back at the flat and headed off to Banchory. We enjoyed another drive through the countryside and decent weather again. We stumbled upon a trout fishery (much to Mark's delight!) and then headed to the River Dee (I believe) to see the salmon jumping upstream. That was a neat thing to see! They have a bridge over the river just for looking at the salmon. I again got to have fun with my camera trying to capture the quick movement of the fish.
We left the salmon and headed to Crathes Castle a few miles up the road. This was more of an estate castle. We chose not to go in to the castle or magnificent gardens because of the cost, but maybe some day. Despite that, we were still impressed with the grounds, especially with the fall leaves.