Elgin & Grampian Mountains

Der rätselhafte Svenos Stone in ForresRuine der Turmfront der KathedraleBischoffshaus bei der KathedraleGrabmal eines Bischoffs in der KathedraleDie Ruinen der Kathedrale von einem der Türme

The ferry will be going in five days! So we had to go south a little bit faster than before. First of the day we visited the Sveno's Stone next Forres. This myserious Celtic stele shows an impressive relief telling the story of an ancient war or fight. But up to today the experts do not know the historic background and who are the fighters carved in the stone. 

Then we drove to Elgin. There Simone urgently wanted to see the ruins of the first and one of the greatest Scottish cathedral. The cathedral was closed for lunchtime and so we ate something at a cafe on the marketplace before we climbed the remains of the main portal. On the top of one of the towers we enjoyed the bird view to the picturesque ruins of the cathedral and later we tried to decipher the inscriptions of the tombstones at the very old cemetery. We found a lot of tombstones shaped like a table with engraved skull and crossbones from the begin of the 17th century.  

Continuing our travel south we crossed the Grampian Mountains. This was one of the most beautiful part of our whole journey. The giant mountains covered in heather are very impressive although the heater was only starting to blossom. We passed some famous Whiskey distilleries and the ski lifts gave an idea of long cold windy winters. Especially the isolated Corgarff Castle with its walls like a regular star looks fine from one of its surrounding hills. Our original destination, Balmoral Castle (the castle of the Queen) was closed and we only could inspect Braemar Castle from the outside, too.
  So we turned and drove along the river Dee to the eastern coast. Although the rest of the way to Stonehaven needed a lot of time the landscape with its rolling hills was nice despite the influence of agriculture.

The campsite in Stonehaven was completely overcrowded (it needed a lot of discussions to get the permission to pitch our tent there) and we longing remembered to the wonderful campgrounds of the western isles.

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