Today is my last full day in Aberdeen; tomorrow afternoon, I”ll catch the train down to Edinburgh and spend a couple of days before flying home on Monday.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to wake to a beautiful blue sky that meant we could take more of an outing than have been possible in the previous rainy days. M, the kids, and I packed up and headed just south of Aberdeen to Stonehaven, home of the famous Dunnottar Castle. As we drove toward this ruin, my breath caught a little – high on a cliff sat a spectacular set of partial buildings. . . And when we reached the parking lot (oh, excuse me, “car park”) I had to just snap this view:

Dunnottar Castle

We then preceded to walk down over 130 steps (I lost count somewhere around there) until we were at sea level before we climbed back up to the cliff where the ruin sits. . . Breath-taking applies in more than one way in this place.

I could tell you the history of the place, how the Scottish Crown Jewels were safeguarded there from Cromwell’s forces, or how the Whigs kept ~200 Presbyterian prisoners in a tiny cavern before eventually shipping them to New England. . . there is great history here. . . but to me, the history was lost in the absolute sublime beauty of the place. . . I just couldn’t fathom how gorgeous the land and the buildings are. . .

So instead of trying to describe what I saw, take a look for yourself.

The Chapel

I love the play of light on stone.

the North Sea from Dunnator Castle

This view of the North Sea could inspire most anyone to fight for it, I expect.

This may be the most beautiful place I have ever seen. What is your most beautiful place?