One part travel blog. One part nerdy history lesson.

Day 11 – East Scotland and Loch Ness

We started our morning overlooking the ocean in Johnshaven. The tiny town was literally built on the edge of the water. This was from our front door.



I could have stayed here for a while, too. 

We headed north and west through a few little towns. There wasn’t much to really photograph… Just rolling fields and sheep and highway. Looked a lot like Indiana if you substitute the sheep for cows.

We did see a sign for the “Maiden Stone” a half mile off the road, so we detoured- cuz lord knows I love me a good nerdy history lesson. Lol 

Turned out to be pretty cool. The stone is from about the 800s. It is a Pictish slab stone.

The Picts were the original Scottish tribes of the north and east. There were also The Gaels. Eventually, they merged along with a couple other tribes and formed Scotland- and Scots refers to all combined tribes of present day Scotland.

This stone is pink granite and has weathered pretty bad. You can see a mirror and comb at the bottom though which is weird ha

The legend is that the notch in the stone is where the Devil’s hand was sitting on the Maiden’s shoulder when he turned her to stone. Or it could just be that pink granite is really hard to carve. Lol


 I thought this would be the biggest stone we would see…until we drove along further and found Sueno’s Stone- the largest Pict stone. Wow. It has an entire story of a battle carved into it.

They actually put a housing around it! I am constantly appalled at how many of these cultural artifacts are just sitting out in the rain…


    Amazing intricate cross design on the back 

Picture with Kegan for scale. This thing is huge!

We tried to see Cawdor Castle but it’s closed until May. We snuck a picture from the back gate  ðŸ™‚


Our first real glimpse of the highlands 

What a view.. 🙂 

Our first glimpse of Loch Ness! 

Can you find Nessie?

  The rocks and ledges all have a very cool look and the trees had a cool moss on them.  


Kegan hiked back to a waterfall that had little carved stone poetry inscriptions along the way.       




A good sampling of locals- white, brown and spotted. I just love the sheep. They make me happy.


My camera lens is so wide angle it actually makes these hills appear average. lol I assure you, they are awesome looking in person and the photos don’t do them justice.



  As we were driving around Loch Ness we saw these deer (elk?) crossing



How perfect is this? Captured a rainbow directly over Loch Ness!  

And We found “Lady Ness” 🙂  Norah loved the “dinosaur” haha  



Feet leading to the gift shop 



More highlands tomorrow. Probably won’t be a ton to show except for the scenery….but I will find plenty I’m sure 🙂


  1. Sherri

    Look forward to your blog every night, all that history is amazing.

    Rob, however is not so thrilled. Yesterday we went home from a shopping trip and passed a few cemeteries and stone buildings. He tried to get me to take pictures to compare to all of yours, says there isn’t much difference. He thinks he’s so funny.

    Anyway, looking forward to tomorrow’s post. Oh, I’m surprised that you are still alive after that picture of Donna sleeping.! Rotten! You are your father’s child…

    • Erin McKinney

      He needs to find some joy in life. If you can’t get excited about 1000 years of the human race- you need a reality check 🙂 these buildings are amazing!

      • Rob

        Picture of rainbow is awesome, looks like a postcard. I will never get excited about the human race.

  2. Erin McKinney

    There is some major glitch with the site that keeps jumbling all the pictures around! Sorry, you’ll just have to figure out which ones go with which text 🙂

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