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Aviemore and beyond

A non-eventful drive up...rained often (every time I put my sunglasses on!), but at least there were no traffic jams. We arrived in Aviemore about 6pm. Very happy with our accomodation, just on the outskirts of the village. Settled in then back into the village for dinner. The first park we found that would fit our big beast of a van was right outside Macdui's...turned out to be a great choice! Local beer, entree of haggis, neeps and tattie stack, more local beer, can't remember what I had for a main. Heard bagpipes as we were leaving, across the road for a listen...yep...definitely feel like I'm in Scotland ?


An overcast day...is there any other weather in the U.K.?! Unfortunately the weather forecast suggested this might be the best day we're going to get...so, decided to go catch the funicular up cairngorm mountain. This is new since I was here last...25 years ago we went up on the chair lifts ( I can still recall it being a bit chilly!). Unfortunately it was worse than chilly this time! I had dressed for rain rather than a freezing wind! The views were spectacular, even with limited visibility. There's a viewing deck at the top, but only a few hardy souls were brave (silly?!) enough to go out there.IMG_1124.jpgIMG_1133.jpgIMG_1136.jpgIMG_1145.jpg
The kids found a climbing wall at the bottom...fortunately it was a horizontal climb rather than a vertical one, so I was quietly confident it wouldn't end in a trip to yet another A&E ?
And yes, there was a grand total of 3 people wearing shorts on the mountain today, and I knew all of them!
We went back to the village to do some shopping...first stop Mountain Warehouse, which is like macpac and Kathmandu, but a lot cheaper. Coming into this shop when you're frozen to the bone is a bit like going supermarket shopping when you're hungry! Everything was so cosy and warm...let's just say, I'm confident I won't be running out of warm clothes again on this trip!


Headed up to Inverness late morning...spent an hour looking around the town, then headed to the Loch Ness Centre to unravel the mystery of Nessie! We walked through the exhibition, seven themed areas which went from explaining how Loch Ness was formed, through some of the eye witness accounts of sightings and all the tests they have conducted on the loch up to the current day...very well done and interesting stuff.
Drove further round the road to Urquhart Castle. This area is so pretty...watched a short film about the history of the castle, then outside to walk around the ruins. Stunning Scenery (weather was blowy with a touch of rain just as we'd finished!).
Then we headed for Inverness airport (just so we knew where it was for later!), then to a restaurant nearby..."Ozzy's"...it had takeaways one side and Fine Dining on the other. Since we had time to spare, and we're feeling celebratory, we went for the fine dining option! Very nice.
Then to the airport, with plenty of time to make some "posters", watch tv and use the free wifi...Jo due to land 9.45pm...woohoo!!!
She arrived on time, very worn out from her travelling, but happy to be out of the hospital. 45 min trip back to Aviemore, and straight to bed! The team is complete again ?


Everyone else slept late again this morning...so I went for a walk for a couple of hours along some of the many walking and biking trails in the area. Really nice, but a real test of my sense of direction! I ended up in the village, and popped into the hospice shop...perfect! I found a large duffle bag that will carry our extra purchases that we've made along the way.
After lunch (or breakfast for some!), Jo and Tata dropped the kids and I off at Culloden and they headed back to Inverness for medical supplies not stocked in Aviemore (the spray to remove adhesive tape). That turned out to be a failed mission, as neither of the two large chemists in Inverness stocked it.
Culloden was very interesting. The exhibition centre is fantastic...boards down the centre outlining events leading up to the Battle of Culloden, then each side went into more depth, one side from the Army, the other side the Jacobites. Then there's a film room, where all four walls are showing the battle from different angles...a bit gruesome, depending what wall you looked at! From there, we walked out onto the battlefield...kind of eerie, it felt both big and small at the same time - an incredible atmosphere too difficult to put into words, but a wonderful memorial to the Clans.
Back home to change Jo's dressing...a bit tricky without the adhesive tape removing spray...a long slow process, soaking the tape, then trying to pull it off gently (and failing at times). Got there eventually, and the wound site looks to be healing as it should.
Went back to Macdui's for dinner...Jo needed her haggis fix! Food was most excellent again and we enjoyed some friendly banter with our waitress. We were discussing how we had so often heard the phrase "On a clear day, you can see....", but the "clear day" was proving to be as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster. Then I had to mention that I hadn't seen any cute fluffy highland cows on this trip, and if I hadn't seen some 25 years ago, I would think they were also a myth! She walked away and came back a minute later to swap our cutlery holder for one with a picture of a highland cow on it! Sadly this was the closest we came to sighting one of these cute beasties!

Posted by MaryMcKeowen 09:25

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