Frolicking down the path on a cool and rainy Saturday morning, Hannah and Margaret and I were on our way to see another castle!

This time, we went to Aberdour Castle, a lovely old ruin on the other side of the Firth of Forth in County Fife.  (Say that three times fast.)

There was a pretty walk leading up to the castle with a bridge over a rushing stream.

Nap saw the castle first, or so he says.

This is a picture of a robin that I took for Margaret’s and Hannah’s enjoyment.

Aberdour Castle!  According to the lady who worked in the office, it is the oldest castle ruin in Scotland, which I found hard to believe, though I don’t know why I should.  I guess, I feel like there is always something older out there.  It was built in the 1100’s, so it is quite old.

It suits Nap quite well, doesn’t it?

It started to rain, so we spent a lot of time climbing around inside.  Unlike the other castles we’ve been to, this one had a lot of indoor rooms with roofs.  Tables and chairs (we can safely assume not from the twelfth century) were placed in the fully covered rooms as decor.

Through that door you can see the dove cote.

As usual, the grass is uncannily green.  Or maybe everything else is just so grey, it makes the grass look even greener.  But I just think the grass is incredibly green.

Pretty climbing plants all over the wall.  The fall colors are starting to emerge.

This room has an original painted ceiling.  According to the plaque, many of the ceilings would have been painted in bright colors, but this is the only surviving one.  It’s in good shape for so many years.

Looking out the window down on St Fillian’s Kirk.  The church is even older than the castle, from the early part of the twelfth century, and people still worship there.

An excellent grand hall.  I could see some excellent parties happening here.  Apparently, people use Aberdour for weddings because it has such lovely grounds and indoor areas that work so well for a wedding.  I understand the appeal.

Nap, of course, liked being at the head of the room, but the chair was too low, so he claimed the table.

It was a bit grim when we first got there, but it slowly stopped raining and began to clear up.  We could even see blue skies occasionally!  Not much, but, you know, a little.

This picture turned out a little dark, but you can kind of see the winding staircase through the door.  I love winding staircases… They are so much fun to run up and down!

A piece of the castle broke off.  It’s such a huge chunk, it must have been a scary and impressive fall.

And here we have Hannah appreciating the general landscape and surroundings.

Or maybe she was looking at a bird…

Margaret found the bread ovens and insisted that she and Hannah climb inside.  I’ve read the story of the Gingerbread House, so I couldn’t say the idea seemed like a good one, but the picture is cute.

 

And here is me officially claiming the castle as my very own with a carefully designed flag.  As was pointed out to my by my brothers Dan and Matt, I cannot claim a castle without using a flag, so I brought a flag and did it properly.

As you can see, it was a very special moment for me.

Don’t fall in the well!

You are probably tired of pictures of castle grounds, but I have a great fondness for castles, you see (I know, you are surprised by this new and startling information), so there are more pictures than I could possibly need of each castle from every conceivable angle.

I could probably reconstruct it out of paper mache or very small rocks or something if I wanted to by using all of these pictures…

But why do that when I just claimed the real thing?

 

After we left the immediate castle grounds, we made our way into the garden, which started with a walled in bowling green.

I really, really, really wanted to frolic across that grass, but there was a sign that forbade frolicking of any sort on the grass, so I had to refrain.

The sky is clearing! No, really, it is!  A little?  Maybe?

Okay, not quite yet…

More yummy berries that I did not eat.

Hannah: “I could’ve written something better…”  I agree, it was a bit overly dramatic.  It sounds like it should be a haiku, but it fails to be one because the syllable count is completely wrong.  Poem fail.

Church! Grass!  Castle!  Statue thingy in the middle of the grass that I can’t get to because we are forbidden to frolic on the grass!  *sadness*

Now, there, see?  There is blue sky right there above the church.  That’s when things started to brighten a bit.

And here, I feel that I may have found a passage into Narnia, but of course, it was solid and did not move when I tried to get through.  I may have to come back… It is most unfortunate I won’t be able to make it on Samhuinn evening.

Obviously this open door couldn’t be the way in, but it’s a very pretty door nonetheless.  It leads out into the back garden behind the castle.

Hello, again, castle that belongs to me by way of flag!

Napoleon does not understand the sundial.  If the sun never comes out, how did these people tell the time?  Nap thinks they were silly.

We did stop and smell the roses.  They smelled lovely.

Our next stop was St Fillian’s.  We entered through the graveyard, filled with old beautiful stones, some of which were faded and illegible.  Many had dates from the 1800’s.

The sun suddenly burst through the clouds over the Firth.  It was amazing.  Of course, a camera, even a fairly spiffy one like mine, can never capture just how beautiful sunbursts are.  But I had to try, didn’t I?

Inside the church were lovely old stained glass windows and arches and columns of stone.  I don’t know how well I’d worship in this church because I’d be constantly distracted by the aesthetics and excitement of being in such an old building.  At the same time, it would be quite amazing to come to church here and be a part of history that goes back for over 800 years.

Here’s one of the windows beautifully lit from outside.

More sunshine and silhouettes!

We left the church and walked a ways down the road on a footpath through the woods to get a look at the coast from above.  I love open forests like this.

Climbing up in that tree afforded a wonderful view, though getting back down proved a bit tricky for those intrepid enough to try it.

There’s the other side where we live.  And notice the blue sky.  The day definitely turned out quite nice for a trip out.

Sunlight reflecting off the water.  There’s a lighthouse out there, but you can’t really see it.

We had to head back, but I lagged behind, snapping shots of every pleasing tree, plant, or scenery that caught my eye.  I ended up with a lot of shots that looked pretty much the same.

Twisty tree!

The fall colors are coming out and some of the trees were vivid with yellows and reds.  It made me a bit more resigned to the cooling weather.

Walking back past the castle, we were able to appreciate it in a new light – literally.  There was light instead of clouds and rain.

Goodbye, castle!  I am glad that I got to claim you!

Hannah is observing an adorable little slug on the wall…

Sitting at the idyllic little train station, nearly falling asleep, but knowing we had to do homework when we got back… We had to sacrifice a lot of valuable sleep/work time to come, but it wasn’t a half bad way to spend a morning, really.

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