The King is Dead by The Decemberists
Kiss Each Other Clean by Iron & Wine
Temporary Resident by Imaginary Cities
Staying at the Ivory Tower right now are some more friends from Spain, one of which has never been to Scotland before. So on Monday, we jumped on an early train from Dundee and made our way up to Aviemore. The town itself is inside Cairngorm National Park and is filled with skiing and hiking clothing stores. In a way, it's a less touristy, less mountains right in town, less uptight version of Banff, Canada.
After some directions from the Tourist Information by the station, we dropped our kit off at the Cairngorm Guest House (which I highly recommend, by the by), jumped on the next bus heading into the park and set off to climb Cairn Gorm.
|Cairn Gorm is the peak on the left of centre|
On a very clear day, you can see clear over to Ben Nevis, which keen readers will remember that Miguel climbed last year. Even with the clouds, we could see over towards Inverness (I was amazed to discovered we were this far north).
After a good rest, we got up the next morning, stuffed as much breakfast in us as humanly possible, and set off for Loch an Eilein in Rothiemurchus Forest and a less hilly hike. It's a 15km roundtrip from Aviemore, which made for another long day (all part of our not-so-secret plan to tucker out our houseguests). After walking alongside the River Druie and passing through Inverdruie, we reached Lochan Mor, also known as the Lily Loch (for obvious reasons).
Before reaching Loch an Eilein (pronouned Loch 'nyellin), which means Lake of the Island.
In the middle of the lake is the island, which has the ruins of a 15th-century castle. The sun crept out just long enough to allow for some pretty lovely photos.
|Look at all those shades of green!|
This was my second trip up to the Highlands this summer, but unlike the west side of Scotland, Speyside reminds me more of Western Canada. Maybe it was the pine-covered path around Loch an Eilein, or maybe it was the absence of industrial development, or possibly the pelting rain, but something about Cairngorm National Park made me feel incredibly at home. Either I've found a bit of Canada in Scotland, or I'm finally starting to feel a bit more like Scotland is now home.