This last week we have been able to travel a lot. It started on Sunday. We drove to Alloa for Church to meet the Bishop and introduce ourselves to him. We have been connecting with him via phone and email, but we needed to meet him and some of the Ward members. We have been working with a few of the members in that Ward and one friend who is not a member of the Church. Alloa is about a 45 minute drive northwest of Edinburgh.
Monday we went to Motherwell, Hamilton, and East Kilbride to do flat inspections. The “inspection” sounds a lot worse than it actually is. They have the senior missionaries visit the younger missionary every couple of months to make sure the flats are being kept clean. The Church has invested a great deal of money in security deposits for renting all these flats for the missionaries so it is an effort to protect the investment. As one might expect, the flat in Motherwell occupied by the two young Elders was not as tidy as the two other flats occupied by young Sister missionaries. J
From East Kilbride we drove to Irvine which is south. We met with a young missionary who is going home this next week and did the Work Choice Profile with him. The Profile is a tool we use to help individuals determine their interest levels in different types of professions to help them as they begin thinking about a career.
From Irvine we drove to Saltcoats which is on the west coast. I lived there when I was a missionary, oh, so many years ago. The town has really changed…for the worse. The downtown was really run down. One of the biggest changes I have experienced since returning to Scotland is the amount of traffic and the Motorways (freeways). None of the motorways were here in the 60’s when I lived here. They weren’t needed, because most people couldn’t afford to own a car. From Saltcoats we drove back to Edinburgh via Glasgow.
Yesterday we drove to Stonehaven which is near Aberdeen. It is about 2 hours north of Edinburgh. We visited the Dunnuttor castle. It was built in about 1650. That sounds really old until one realizes that the castle we visited in Linlithgow was built in 1450 and the Abbey in Dunfermline we visited was built in 1150. We in the US don’t know what “old” really is.
This Sunday we drove to Dumfries which is about 2 hours southwest of Edinburgh. We went to the Ward there to introduce ourselves, and the Stake Employment Specialists, to the new Bishop. The drive was soooo beautiful!!! We took the “scenic route” and it was great. The beautiful countryside was unbelievable. It was a bit cloudy and rainy so I didn’t get picture, but I will next time.
Overall, we have probably driven 500 miles this week.
A few pictures of the castle we visited on Saturday...my camera settings and the overcast sky didn't let the true green color come through.
This was a sign at the entry of the castle walk that shows the view of what we were about to see. They built a little village on this rock. There were stables, garden areas, a chapel, and a number of different buildings on the flat top area. Dunnottar has played a prominent role in the history of Scotland through to the 18th-century Jacobite risings because of its strategic location. Dunnottar is best known as the place where the Scottish crown jewels, were hidden from Oliver Cromwell's invading army in the 17th century
The ruins of the castle are spread over 3.5 acres, surrounded by steep cliffs that drop to the North Sea, 50 metres (160 ft) below. A narrow strip of land joins the headland to the mainland, along which a steep path leads up to the gatehouse. The various buildings within the castle include the 14th-century tower house as well as the 16th-century palace.
One can see how well fortified this castle would have been. The hike down was really pretty steep
When we hiked back up to the top there was a piper playing. Oh, I love the pipe...well most of the time
We went into Stonehaven for lunch. The restaurant was right on the harbor.
Looking across the bay to Stonehaven. Stonehaven is located just south of Aberdeen.
Oh, before I forget...one more picture
This picture was taken at 10:00 p.m. last Thursday night. We had just come home from Alloa and were walking to the flat. It was really lighter than the picture shows. It was cloudy and you can see the sun shining on the tops of the clouds.