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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

All roads leading north Part 2......



After a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast (I didn't partake of the haggis and the fried food) we assembled at the front of the hotel at 9.30 a.m., for our first excursion of the weekend.   Keith, our driver for the weekend, did a quick head count (there were only 26 of us on the coach including a four year old boy called Andrew who was an absolute joy) then we set off for the railway station at Aviemore, where the Strathspey Railway is based.    For those who don't know, Aviemore is a small town on the edge of the Cairngorms.   I've put together a little slide show of photos taken at the station.  If you look carefully on the last two you will see me on the footplate of the train through the steam!



We boarded the steam train which took us to Boat of Garten, a peaceful Highland village set amongst heather clad hills and native woodland. Lying adjacent to the mighty River Spey in the Cairngorms National Park, Boat of Garten lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty, centrally located in the Highlands of Scotland.

Here's MWM and I on the train.




then onto Broomhill, which was the location of Glenbogle,  used in the filming of the TV series 'Monarch Of The Glen'.




After our train ride we were supposed to have a free afternoon back in Carrbridge but because the weather was drizzly Keith (the coach driver) decided to take us for a drive round and stopped off at Speyside Heather Centre at Skye of Curr, Dulnain Bridge, which was just beautiful.   We had a pot of tea here, along with a sandwich for me and a 'clootie dumpling' with fresh cream for MWM.  A 'clootie dumpling' is a traditional Scottish fruit pudding or cake.  The clootie was often made on a special occasion, especially a birthday and wrapped coins would be placed in the uncooked mixture then individually wrapped in organic unbleached muslin.   The clootie would then be 'skelped' or smacked by each person in the family to form it into a nice round shape in the cloot (the muslin wrap), the person whose birthday it was being the last to skelp it.  The dumpling was then simmered gently in the cloot, resulting in a moist, rich treat for that special occasion.  Suffice to say he enjoyed it.   They had all sorts of things for sale not just plants, there was also a lovely little wildlife sanctuary in the centre where we stopped for a while looking at the birds.




After an hour of looking round we set off to Grantown-on-Spey, a traditional Highland town on the River Spey 14 miles from Aviemore on the northern edge of the Cairngorms National Park, where we spent a happy hour in the bar of a local hostelry!    We boarded the coach again for the ten mile journey back to our hotel, where we had a short rest before getting ready for dinner, which was a Scottish buffet that evening as it was a Ceilidh (pronounced Kayleigh).    The formality of a Ceilidh can vary - some mix modern pop music with a Scottish country dancing band and dress codes range from compulsory highland dress to informal.  This one consised of a young man playing the bagpipes and a young girl dancing, plus a traditional Ceilidh band and the MC dressed in the tradition kilt.





Join me next time for our next excursion in the Scottish Highlands.

21 comments:

Quilly said...

sigh another great trip!

mrsnesbitt said...

Having just returned from our annual pilgrimage to the Isle of Man your post has made me realise I must write it up!

tony said...

Great Photos. A most Beautiful Part Of The World.ENJOY!

Galadriel Ar FeinieL said...

i like it :)

Eternally Distracted said...

It sounds fabulous... Oooooo I soooo can't wait to go home!!!!

cathy said...

Have a lovely time you lucky girl :)

rosneath said...

oh my! surprised I didn't bump into you! - see where I have been ....

Finding Pam said...

Looks like you are having fun.

Daryl said...

LOVE the new look .. it compliments your writing so perfectly

Valerie said...

Fabulous place to visit with terrific scenery. Thank you for posting your pictures. I won't show hubs, he'll be dead jealous over that train.

buffalodick said...

You could be a tour guide to Hades and make it look good!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i love traveling with you!

smiles, bee
xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Flowerpot said...

you have some great holidays don't you, AK?!

Cloudia said...

bracing!

and so much fun.

good on you!




Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Akelamalu said...

Glad you're enjoying them Quilly :)

I know it takes ages to download all the photos and write it up doesn't it Mrs. N.?

It truly is beautiful Tony :)

Glad you like it Galadriel :)

I'm pleased to bring you such lovely memories of your home Eternally Distracted :)

We did have a lovely time Cathy :)

Oh I'll be over shortly to check out where you've been Rosneath :)

We did have fun Pam :)

Thanks Daryl x

Oh yes the scenery was magnificent Valerie and so was the train. :)

Aw thanks Buff :)

I'm happy you enjoy my travels Bee xx

We certainly do Flowerpot :)

So much fun indeed Cloudia x

aims said...

Now why I am not surprised you took a Steam Train??

I am always amazed at the beautiful countries you show us. I wonder if everyone feels that way about another continent.....it always seems much greener on the other side of the ocean. ;0)

Dave said...

What a grand journey you have taken us on. It is truly beautiful Thank You

Mama Zen said...

This sounds like so much fun!

Akelamalu said...

LOL yes we do love steam trains Aims! You're right I think that everyone feels other countries always look so much nicer than your own. Scotland is very green, but then there is a LOT of water there! ;)

My pleasure Dave :)

It was Mama Zen :)

Travis Cody said...

What a wonderful time!

Julia Smith said...

That's an especially nice picture of the two of you on the train! Thanks for all the slideshows once again - I seriously feel refreshed from my virtual travelling with you, Akelamalu.