More Pitcitsh Stones Near Perth-ArbroathSeptember 9, 2016 in the United Kingdom
Room was nice, but the bed a bit hard. Up for breakfast by 8:30. Stout Scottish breakfast with 2 pieces of bacon (ham), 2 of sausage, a fried egg, small tomato--halved and some homemade toast in a rack (cold). French press coffee today! We ate breakfast with another couple about 80 yrs who were from the North coast near Petershead. They had been down for a day to ride their bikes along the canals at Falkirck. They have bikes with electric assist due to their age.We had been warned by the cab driver in Glasgow that the norther dialects were hard for him to understand and we found they were a challenge to us as we were to them.
We had a bit of a delayed start as we lingered to chat with Pat whislt Bill when off to his tournament about 10am. Pat and Bill have been supporting lodgers for 30 some years, especially in the early years to make ends meet. They also lodged quited a few walkers on the cross country paths until hoof & mouth disease became a problem in the mid-2000's. Now they are helping put a family member through an English college for a year or two. No sign out front, just a website put up by one of the 2 sons. [ http://www.bandb.strathdeveron.co.uk]
Off we went then to "downtown" forfar to visit the local museum with Pictish stones [ http://www.angus.gov.uk/directory_record/174/meffan_museum_and_art_gallery_forfar]. Nice small museum with several examples of Pitctish stones as well as some Roman artifacts.Then on to Arblemno for more Pictish stones near the old church. Weather was quite nice. At least not raining, so on we went to Arbrorath to see more Pictish stones..
There are a number of stones at a small cottage across the street from St Vigean's church, visible by appt only. We called about noon and found there would be a tour at 2pm so we were in luck.The other tour was about a 1/2 hour behind us, so we had the small building to ourselves with the docent to start. Good thing, the tour was a bus load of international high school students who had just come from Arbroath Abbey [ https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbroath_Abbey] .
We went on to the abbey since we were there and could get in with our Historical pass. A very large abbey [ http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/arbroath/arbroathabbey/] , bigger than most that we had seen in Ireland, but in a poor state of repair due to the Reformation in the 1500's. Never-the-less, still very impressive and only housed about 40 monks. Many of the stones had been harvested to build buildings within Arbroath after the Reformation The docent at St Vigean's also worked at the abbey, and she was able to sell to us a few bits and bobs to bring home.
By now, it was 4pm and we could see there were thicker clouds and darkness approaching. So we opted for finding a place to stay since it was Friday night. We initially tried for a place that overlooked the North Sea and a golf course, but it was full. The owner directed us back into town and on our second try, we found a small room (en-suite) in a very historic building (1745) [ http://www.harbournights.co.uk].
We went off to a local pub recommended by Bill, the owner, for dinner as lunch was a shared cup of coffee and a few Walkers shortbread biscuits at the abbey. Seafood paella and a lasanga with a bottle of wine. They also had an early bird special, but selection was more limited than the night before and we didn't need the calories. We sat next to a family of a mid-20's gal and Mom and Grandma who were having a meal before the youngest went off to college in Aberdeen to study occupational therapy. Grandmom was from Cork, with daughter here and 2 sons in the States. Interesting to eaves drop and hear the Mom tell the Daugherty that when she was young and first working, she was sorting tulip or daffodil bulbs.
We worked on the next stops last eve and started to have a panic as it seemed like there was not enough time to see everything without rushing already. But by morning, we realised that we had shorted ourselves by a week of the trip. So not so bad. Looking ahead, it looks like 3 days of better weather, so it will be a good day to the up to the 2 iron age defensive forts near Brechin before heading north further to Aberdeenire, Our theme for the past 2 days has been Pictish stones, but we are now starting to move into more stone circles and whiskey tasting areas before we get to Inverness.Read more