Monday, 30 March 2009

Changing Weather at Bluefolds, Glenlivet and Cairngorm

On Saturday, my cousin, Jennifer was to help us with the painting in Glenlivet cottage. The first problem was that there was about 6" of snow on the road to the cottages and we had to abandon the car at the farm about 1/2 a mile from the cottages. You could think that we struggled through the snow - but we waited until Steve arrived with the girls who were doing the cottage turn rounds! I know it is cheating, but it meant we were fit to get on with the painting. The weather remained snowy with some heavy showers which let to Jennifer being able to sledge on a run behind the cottages. She loved it!
On Sunday after all our labours over the last few days, we went for a typical day out from Glenlivet starting with a visit to Drumin Castle (Lair of the Wolf of Badenoch in an earlier time), the views to the River Livet and River Avon are lovely and it was easy to see why he chose this spot with panoramic views. The castle has been made safe by the Crown Estate, Glenlivet. There is also a lovely walled garden and the daffodils will be in bloom in another week. We drove past the Glenlivet distillery which is currently being renovated and along a little side road which gave views back to the distillery and Ben Rinnes still with a cap of snow and on towards the Ladder Hills and Tomintoul. Ben Avon (pronounced A'an) was still looking very snowy and it would be a good day for sking at the Lecht. We stopped for hot chocolate and cake at the coffee shop in the Whisky Castle. Both were delicious and it was good to see that there were quite a few shoppers visiting on a Sunday. Kathy stocks a wide range of goods and Jennifer found some warm hats which were put to good use later. It was a beautiful sunny day until we reached Cairngorm for a trip in the funicular! Everything changed as we approached, the wind increased in speed and soon we were in a mini blizzard. As is the usual case in Scotland, if only we had been there 2 hours earlier! The trip up the mountain was wonderful and we braved the outside for a few very cold minutes to get some photos. It was hard to believe the change in temperature from Tomintoul to Cairngorm. We were amazed at the number of people sking, although we knew earlier in the day the car park had been full, as we could see the spaces where cars had left. We caught the last train down the mountain at 1620. We passed many skiers in the blizzard still making there way down the slopes as well. We drove back to Glenlivet via Carrbridge. The bridge was looking beautiful in the evening light and the river was very full. As we drove back to the Grantown road we saw that the blizzard had passed and the mountains in the Cairngorm range were once again looking wonderful with their snow caps. We crossed back across the River Spey at Grantown and drove along enjoying the light shining on it. There were quite a few weekend drivers around so it was fine to enjoy the trees, river, light and beautiful skies. It had been a wonderful day out, we were ready for our supper and nice refreshing glass of wine.

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