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Sometimes we end up on a slice of Earth that recalls other slices of Earth, reminding us just how small the world really is. That was the case on the final day of Adventure Canada’s Scotland Slowly cruise itinerary, as we made our way to the port of Aberdeen in the northeast part of the country.
About a 30-minute drive from the city of Aberdeen, Bullers of Buchan is part of a gorgeous coastal walk that might remind a California girl like me of Big Sur or even Malibu.
A gentle trail weaves through sun-bleached sea thrift, wispy wildflowers and purple heather to deliver day hikers to arches, sea caves and sheer cliffs wrapped in lush grasses. A marquee site of what’s known as the Aberdeenshire Coastal Trail, Bullers of Buchan is a collapsed sea cave that forms a semioval archway that opens to the North Sea.
There were a few other giveaways that I was not in my home state. For one, the trail’s volume of various seabirds — from kittiwakes and fulmars to razorbills and guillemots — is not typical of the trails back home. A particularly exciting activity is to study the cliff face crags in the nearby Longhaven Cliffs Reserve; aided by on our onboard ornithologist, we spotted nests containing gull and falcon chicks.
To the south of Bullers of Buchan, the trail leads to the ruins of Slains Castle, considered an influence for Bram Stoker, the author of "Dracula," and a true reminder that I was not hiking in the U.S. With roofless stone walls holding firm against the rugged coastline and blanketed with green overgrowth, the castle reflects what makes Scotland unlike anywhere else.
The DetailsAdventure Canadawww.adventurecanada.com