I thought it would be a fun outing for a few of the girls from book club to get together and hike to the castle and the Bullers of Buchan along the coast. The weather forecast for Monday was very promising, so we decided to start with a morning hike and end with afternoon sticky toffee pudding at St. Olaf Hotel, which is both mentioned in the book and also where Susanna Kearsley stayed while she did her research for the novel.
When we set out at 10 AM, the weather in Aberdeen was picture perfect. However, the closer we got to our destination, the thicker the haar (fog) got. At one point our visibility was pretty much non-existent.
But in some ways, I find that the fog adds an air of mystique to the Scottish landscape so I didn’t mind too much. What I did mind was the dew on the tall grass which soaked my jeans. The temperature also dropped about 10 degrees while we were out which made me wish I’d grabbed both my fleece and waterproof hiking pants. That darn weather forecast; fools me every single time.Other than the mild physical discomfort and moderate visual impairment, I still had a blast exploring the ruins and coastline with my girls.
You may remember that Jon and I did this same hike for our anniversary back in May. Well, on that day the weather forecast didn’t blatantly lie and we got some sunny shots of Slains and the Bullers of Buchan. Here’s an example of the difference.
I swear, Scotland looks entirely different from one day to the next. After hiking a few miles and working up an appetite, we decided to head into town for some lunch and Sticky Toffee Pudding at St. Olaf and ask around to see if the owner had any insights into Kearsley’s stay there.
Not only did she have some stories, she also let us tour the room she stayed in.
|You can see the outline of Slains in upper left hand horizon.|
We all passed it around and took snapshots of Susanna’s signature. It truly made our trip so much more than we bargained for. You’ve got 5 stellar TripAdvisor reports coming your way, St. Olaf Hotel! Thanks for going out of your way to make our Cruden Bay experience so special!