Okay, not I did not tour the whole of Scotland this weekend, but I did have the extreme pleasure of seeing not only Aberdeen, but Edinburgh as well. And let me say one thing about what I saw of Scotland: I LOVE it.
I landed mid-afternoon the first day at Aberdeen International and got off this cute, little plane right onto the tarmac; the weather was perfect. It was everything I was hoping London's weather would've been by now — foggy, chilly, breezy, beautiful. The bus from the airport to the university where I met my dearest host twisted through the center of Aberdeen, so I got to see almost the whole city. Aberdeen is smaller and more north than Edinburgh but it is just as beautiful architecturally and equally as lively because of the bustling college in the center.
My favorite part of my stint in Scotland was getting lost in a little place up the coast of Scotland in Aberdeenshire called Cruden Bay. Cruden Bay is home Slains Castle, which I now know was Bram Stoker's inspiration for Dracula! He actually wrote bits of the classic in the pub we had coffee in. The castle itself abuts the cliffs directly, to the point where it looks as if it may crumble in fall into the sea in a strong wind, and it is terrifying. Not the cliff part, but the castle as a whole.
To paint a picture, the path to the castle is hidden in a fifteen minute walk-hike through what is essentially a dense forrest that leads to the rolling cliffs and grassland as far as I could see. Which was not very far. Because of the fog. The fog that a local man at the bar told us they called 'pea soup' because it was so thick. It took us about ten more minutes of wandering down a path and another very nice local man with a very strong accent to tell us that the castle was a hundred yards in front of us. So, imagine Dracula's castle, completely gutted, right up against a cliff, doused in a dense layer of Scottish fog.
I loved every bit of it.