Take a wee trip with me!

Day 7, 8 & 9 - Aberdeenshire

I'm back in the States now and thought I'd send one more email to wrap up this special newsletter edition of mine. I hope you enjoyed it! I did--I travel solo and so it was cool being able to share the highlights with you!

Day Seven - Sunday, I drove over to the 17th century harbor town of Portsoy, hoping I could make up some of the knowledge I missed out on by missing South Uist. The Portsoy Salmon Bothy Museum, however, didn't open until two, so I kicked around the harbor a little. It felt like I was in the video game Assassin's Creed, with the stone harbor and the steps and layout.

I also had the previous email to send you, and since this time I needed to to have an alternate way to view the photos, I needed WIFI for a good bit to compose the email and wait for all of my photos to back up to the Google cloud (they'd been backing up to my non-author account).

I found the perfect spot to hang--The Beggar's Belief Coffee Cove in Portsoy. It's an old smuggler's house and the cafe owners decorated each little cozy room in a different way. They also had various historical artifacts on the wall. I chose the Captain's table which was decked out in a pirate theme :) The photos took right up until almost 2 to backup, so I had time for tea and then also lunch, and for the first time actually got to edit MUST LOVE MORE KILTS while I was on this trip. I'd had this romantic notion that every night, I'd curl up and edit some, but with writing in my journal and uploading the photos and eating dinner, I just didn't have the time.

Email sent, I went to the museum. They were friendly and helpful and had a small clinker boat that would be similar to what the fishermen around Dungarbh would be using. I did learn something interesting--the boat had a white sail and he said that's how he knows it was never used. Then he pointed to a dark gray one on a wall--he said they were dyed to help protect the sail from the salt water of the Atlantic. My freshwater fishermen on Loch Garry might not have done that, but the boats going between the Isles might have. I'll need to investigate. They couldn't help though with the rest of my queries and sent me to a fishing museum in Buckie, as well as another in Fraserburgh. Since the latter would be in the direction I'd be going to get to Aberdeen, I first went to Buckie, about 13 miles back toward Inverness. Unfortunately the museum was closed on Sundays, so I hopped back in the car and set out for Fraserburgh. By the time I got to Pennan, along the coast, it was close to 4, and I needed to get to some WIFI to make sure the extra driving out of the way to Fraserburgh would be worth it. Navigated down a steep, winding one-laner down the cliff (and thankfully didn't come across another car going in the opposite direction where one of us would have to back up to a passing place) and popped into a hotel pub for a cola and their WIFI. Quite a lot of cars were parked along the shore, but I found out from the bartender that the total resident population of Pennan is 7--the rest are vacationers!

It was a good thing I stopped and checked--the museum in Fraserbrgh closed at 4 and it was now just past that. So I reprogrammed my car's GPS and headed for Fyvie. This is one of the reasons I haven't written daily emails since day 6--the rest of my trip was family research and potentially uninteresting to you! I remember Fyvie as being a spot where some of the Henry's were (I'm descended from Patrick Henry's sister Lucy), and so I wandered there old cemetery. Didn't find any, but 1700-era stones were moss-covered or too weathered to read. Since it was raining and I had to pee, I forged ahead to Aberdeen where I stayed for the next two nights. I got there around 6, but I was beat, so I took short nap before heading to dinner at the Old Blackfriars Pub. It had lots of character and I settled into a little two-top tucked into a corner with a wing-back chair as my seat :)

Check out my photos of Portsoy! 

The photos of Pennan and trip to Aberdeen

(alternative: view all the day on Google)

Day Eight - had to be at the Aberdeenshire Family Research Center at 10 when it opened, and so that and the sloooow WIFI was another reason you didn't get an email that day. It was spent rooting around in their late 1600-early 1700 records to try and nail down Patrick Henry's grandparents. I didn't have much luck and the center closed at 4.

Photos of Aberdeen

Day Nine - Again spent it at the research center, but by 1 I was spinning my wheels and also wanted to have time to swing back up by Killiecrankie area so I could drop off some excerpt booklets of MUST LOVE KILTS at the visitor center, visit the Clan Donnachaidh museum before it closed for the day, and see if I could meet up with the historian who showed me around the Killiecrankie battlefield last year. Pulled in around 4, only to find the museum was closed for renovations until next week. It was a weird turn of events that I was there last year and thinking--too bad I'm not a Robertson (one of the surnames for this clan) and then found early this year that the Robertson grandmother of Patrick Henry might be one of these Robertsons! Had hoped the museum might have some info on her supposed branch. Picked up a WIFI signal and got an answer back from Stewart--an invitation to stop by for coffee! It was kinda neat being able to just know where to go, since this was the area I spent so much time in last year. I remembered how to get to his house in Struan and found him and his wife in their gorgeous garden. We had tea and coffee (and cookies) and caught up. I also personalized a copy of KILTS and gave it to them. Not wanting to overstay my surprise visit, I left around 5, stopped by the visitor center and left a packet, and then off to Glasgow and my final night :(

Photos of trip back to Glasgow

I had one last delightful surprise at dinner--the Islay Inn Pub had a cèilidh going on. After I finished my meal, I facebook live'd some of it for you while I finished up my beer.

I have to say, I loved flying a British airline (Thomas Cook). I was one of the few Americans on the flight, and I got to expand my time being around Scots until I landed. Lot of families going to Disney, and besides lunch we also had a tea time with finger sandwiches, scones, and clotted cream :)

Link to the above photos on Google

And that's a wrap!

I'll be hitting revisions hard now, to incorporate all I've learned/soaked, and hope to have MUST LOVE MORE KILTS to you by August!

New to this special list?

You can catch up by following these links:

Day One - Glasgow and lots of armor

Day Two - Drive to Portree, Isle of Skye

Day Three - Portree and Dunvegan Castle

Day Four - Neist Point Lighthouse and Coral Beaches of Loch Dunvegan

Day Five - To Strathpeffer via Glenelg

Day Six -Around Drumnadrochit and Loch Ness

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Angela Quarles, Author

202 Government St., Suite 207
Mobile, AL 36602