The morning broke with a few overcast clouds, but we’ve learnt that in Scotland, the skies and weather change quickly. Sure enough, by the time we got around (Dunnottar Castle didn’t open until 10am), the sky was clearing and by early afternoon, we could not have asked for more perfect weather.
Today is Nathan’s 18th birthday and here he is, exactly where he wanted to be on this day and great day for his senior photos. We took a lot and a few turned out pretty good. Some fell through the cracks due to operator error (that’d be me) and for some the lighting was just not right. But we certainly could not have asked for a more unique and historical back drop.
So why Dunnottar Castle? Dunnottar is best known for hiding the Honours of Scotland and fending off Oliver Cromwell and his army during the 17th century. But, closer to home (which is really not very close at all), the castle was the seat of Earl Marischal up until the 18th century. My 13th great grandfather was William Keith Third Earl of Marischal, born at Dunnottar 24 July 1506, Kincardineshire, Scotland. His daughter was the grandmother to Alexander Falconer born in Halkertonne, Angus, Scotland about 1545. Falconers are a sept of the clan Keith and, although they share the Keith tartan pattern, Falconers do have their own Coat of Arms or family crest. The motto is: Vive Ut Vivas (Live that you may have life).
After extensively touring the castle grounds, we hiked the path along the North Sea coast and up the hill to the Stonehaven War Memorial with its stunning views of the harbor town of Stonehaven. By this time, we were maybe 25 minutes walk to to the harbor, so on we went. With the warm weather, despite being the off season, the streets were buzzing with people eating and drinking outside the hotels and restaurants enjoying the sunshine. We explored the area for a bit, bought some ice cream and headed back. All in all, about six miles of walking – some of it pretty strenuous, but most was easy to moderate. But there was no reason to hurry, so the pace was leisurely.