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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
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Reports

Tuesday, 17 July 2001
Forbes by Alford --> Stonehaven, Scotland (UK)

From the cottage on the green hills I moved to the little east coast village Stonehaven where I stayed with Elaine and Fraser Martin.
I didn’t really sleep in that long today. Jasper had already told me yesterday that his parents would have to bring me to all the way to my next stop in Stonehaven if I would sleep out really late.

After a sandwich breakfast and a cup of coffee to wake up, I met up with Jos again, who was working in the living room. My host in Stonehaven was able to collect me in the center of the city whenever I would arrive there.

That was good, because Jos came up with the idea himself to bring me to Stonehaven (he wasn’t that busy today and hitchhiking from out in the sticks would be a hard thing) and wanted to show me the ancient place at Lumphanan where King MacBeth was killed.

He would be ready to go whenever I was ready. To stretch the time a bit and let him write his environmental report for an oil company, I decided to wait until after lunch.

So I relaxed a bit, looked at the latest result of my website and while I looked into my database I just could not believe the number of invitations that are coming in everyday. From Mountain Hill, California to Moscow and from Tomsř in the north of Norway to Perth in Australia!

After I had an interview with a daily newspaper in Scotland, it was getting lunchtime and Jos had decided to bake original Dutch pancakes for us all. And that was quite a unique present, as I had not eaten them in six months.

After the meal my bag was packed again and after hugging saying goodbye to Annemarie, Jasper and Ben, we drove off.

Some 10 miles south we arrived in Lumphanan, a small city which contained the Peel Ring of Lumphanan. The Peel Ring of Lumphanan is all that remains of a 12th century castle (see photographs).

It is impressive to walk there and look at an commemorative inscription where the situation was sketched of the 12th century.

Nothing is left, besides a green hill. But the path towards it is still there, the rocks are the only pavement and I thought about the people who walked on it for years – over 800 years ago!

The same inscription also told that the place where King of Scotland Macbeth was slaughtered, was 300 meters west of the abandoned railway track and west a nearby farm.

Jos and I really had some difficulties in finding this place (a rock), because we first didn’t even now which way was the West! So we drove around, counted the distance. Noo, too far. Looking for a rock in a field. No, too far again. But where is it?

We finally drove up to a farm and asked if they would know where to find MacBeth’s Rock. The farm folks laughed a bit about that. Probably they never expected to have two foreigners coming over to ask for the direction to some piece of rock…

So when we knew which way was the west and had the location of it, we parked the car and walked into a farmland.

Jos told me that the Scottish law was made so that anyone can walk on anybody’s land. Even if somebody owns it, a person always had to be allowed to walk there in freedom. I wouldn’t expect that in any country…

And there it was. Or there it just should be. Next to the rail tracks we found this formation of big rocks. However we would never now it for sure, because there was no sign of assurance at all, that this was the rock where Macbeth’s head was chopped off after his defeat in battle at nearby Dunsinane. Shit happens I’d say.

William Shakespeare based his play Macbeth upon a distorted version of the true events, which he found in Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1578).

In real times, Macbeth seized the throne of Scotland in 1040 after defeating and killing King Duncan I. He based his claim to the crown on his victory and his wife's royal ancestry. Malcolm III, son of the murdered Duncan I defeated Macbeth at Dunsinane in 1054, but that did not dethrone him. Three years later, Malcolm III killed Macbeth at Lumphanan. Macbeth's stepson reigned for a few months, and then Malcolm III succeeded as the king.

And then I wonder why this history was not interesting enough for Shakespeare…

The only historical truth in Shakespeare’s play is Duncan's death at the hand of Macbeth. From this fact, Shakespeare drew his portrait of ambition leading to a violent and tragic end.

The picture was taken and we decided I would mark these rocks as The Place Where MacBeth Was Killed. If you ever go to Scotland, I’ll show you the way…

From Lumphanan it was another 40 kilometers driving toward the east coast village Stonehaven. And as we drove out of the hills the weather at the coast got better. The sun shined again, just as it was when I was driven from Dungiven towards Belfast in Northern Ireland. I remember elementary school: mountains have something with clouds – that was it!

Jos Tissen had just parked his car or I met Elaine Martin, my hostess for tonight. So as I said goodbye (and a grateful thank you) to Jos, I presented myself to Elaine.

Elaine was really exited to meet me. She invited me over after she heard me on BBC Radio 2.

*

Yes, Steve Wright again. A man called Miles Mendoza discusses with Steve the Website Of The Day and this site was one of them.

I think this men have arranged all my accommodations in the UK with their promotional story on his show. I am trying to contact them for months now, just to say ‘Thank you for your support’ and tell it to them personally, not by email. But they are very easy to be contact by email, but they’d never reply an answer.

If you want you can help me out:
This is their email addresses: steve.wright@bbc.co.uk and miles.mendoza@bbc.co.uk or fax +44 (0) 8700 100 200. Could your mail finally get them get in contact with me?

I don’t want to promote my website again in anyway, but I might have delivered them a Scottish Pie in London…

*

Before Elaine wanted to give me the big tour through Stonehaven, we went for a drink in the Ship Inn, a pub at the harbor.

Her reason to invite me over where Steve Wright’s words that I was not invited anywhere in Scotland yet – end of March this year. So there she submitted her home in Stonehaven, so I’d be able to visit Scotland anyway.

It was like going on a rollercoaster for kids. After five minutes we both laughed as I asked her: “That was it?”. I had seen the outside swimmingpool, the trailerpark and we drove pass the Dunnottar Castle (which was too much to climb up to today) and the Stonehaven War Memorial along the coast.

Maybe I should write something really sugar coating about Stonehaven, but there just is not anything to put the coating on…

Elaine was a very caring lady. When we got home she showed me around at the bungalow and my room was like a hotel room!

When her husband Fraser came home from work, we drank a beer in the kitchen as Elaine prepared a delicious chicken dinner with potatoes and white cabbage.

After dinner we settled down in the living room (hey - they have a Dutch open fireplace) it got time for The Gift!

As the present the Tissen family in Forbes forwarded to Elaine and Fraser, they selected a unique framed picture print of the Craigievar Castle. You know, that pink romantic and haunted castle I visited yesterday. Of course the oohhs and aaahhs followed as they both had no idea what to give to my next host…

During a cup of coffee Fraser helped me out with some route planning as he had the best maps of Scotland and I exposed a bit of my future traveling plans (TOP SECRET!).

As 80% of the population in Scotland, Fraser works in the oil too. He is actually the man who designs the tubing casing at the North Sea oil platforms!

For the rest of the night the Martin’s logged me onto the internet, for the latest updates. They went to bed as I was halfway finished. The only thing I knew about tomorrow what that I would stay on a farm… but that was all I knew...

Good night Stonehaven!

Ramon.





I have noticed that some of my hosts get an inexpressible feeling when I depart from their place.

I totally understand it as I am the one who causes it.

Let me sound arrogant for a second:

For a short time I am a member of a family (in most cases) and I live together - with them. I listen to their stories and got to know a lot about them. I inspired them with my view on life and the world and they had noticed that they were actually part of my world trip. Even just a little bit and even only at their home.

And to say goodbye to this all, is almost too harsh. No ‘I will call you soons’ but only a little ‘I’ll try to keep in contact’ is all I can give in return, next to my reports.

Because it’s just impossible to stay in contact with my ex-hosts as my traveling continues and I meet new hosts every day.

I don’t know exactly what to say about it and why I had to write this here... It is in my head.


And they are in my heart.






Where is Ramon at this moment?
Click here to see the map