Archive for April, 2010

Journey No 8

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Journey No 8 – 21st to 24th April 2010

21st April 2010 – Departed Carrick Castle to visit Castle Campbell at Dollar Glen, an Historic Scotland property at Dollar, Scotland.

View of Castle Campbell at the top of Dollar Glen

Click on any photo to enlarge it…

We parked Harrie in Dollar at the start of the walk up to Castle Campbell. On the way up we chose the path alongside the river. It was a 30 minute walk up to the castle. The castle was built in the 15th century and the tower has four complete floors that we visited. The rest of the castle had been severely damaged during Cromwell’s occupation of Scotland in 1654.

The Tower at Castle Campbell

View of Dollar from the Tower at Castle Campbell

Douglas by the arch into the gardens at Castle Campbell

Liz in the gardens at Castle Campbell

We left the castle walking down the alternative woodland path to Dollar that took a further 30 minutes.

That evening Liz had an Institute of Outdoor Learning (IOL) Committee Meeting in Dunblane for a couple of hours. After that we drove up to the Cairngorm Mountain Ski Car Park to spend the night by Aviemore.

22nd April 2010 – That morning we put on our ski gear and went up the mountain railway to spend a day skiing at Cairngorm Mountain.

The Cairngorm Mountain Railway

Cairngorm mountain railway passing place

The railway takes you right up to the top of the ski area and into the Ptarmigan Restaurant building. We were surprised at the sheer amount of snow still on the mountain towards the end of April.

Liz ready to start skiing outside the Ptarmigan restaurant

You can see from the photo above the depth of snow alongside the building. To date the ski area has had approximately 746 cms of snow this year and the depths of snow whilst we were there were 316 cms on the top area and 106 cms on the mid area. It was very cold up there!

Liz and Douglas skied virtually all the area at the top of the mountain that was open and most of it was. We had very good skiing conditions in the morning. At lunchtime it started snowing again so we had lunch in the restaurant hoping for an improvement in the visibility. When we went out again there was improvement although not as good as in the morning. Douglas skied until mid afternoon and decided to go back to Harrie on the railway as he was tired and Liz continued skiing for the rest of the afternoon. On her last run, she skied right down to the car park but the snow was heavy towards the bottom and it snowed and then hailed for the last part of the return. On returning to the van it continued to snow and got heavier so we drove Harrie down to a lower car park for the night. This was Douglas’s 21st day of skiing in Scotland this year and Liz’s 19th day – amazing!

23rd April 2010 – Liz had a long meeting to go to at Glenmore Lodge by Aviemore on behalf of IOL again so Douglas dropped her off at the meeting and visited Ruthven Barracks at Kingussie, another Historic Scotland property.

Ruthven Barracks Kingussie

Ruthven Barracks was an infantry barracks erected in 1719 by the Hanovarians following the Jacobite rising of 1715, with two ranges of quarters housing 60 troops plus officers and a stable block for 28 horses. Captured and burnt by Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s army in 1746.

After this visit Douglas tried to visit Aviemore but the town was full with no free parking places so he went back up to the Cairngorm Ski car park to read and watch the snow falling through the day. He collected Liz just after 3pm and then drove across to Fort William to visit Douglas’s mother still in hospital following a stroke. After that we visited Douglas’s father in Corpach before staying in their car park for the night.

24th April 2010 – The morning was spent shopping for Douglas’s father and ourselves. After lunch we visited his mother in hospital again and then returned home to Carrick Castle arriving at 6pm. It was a good journey with very good skiing in the middle. We were surprised at the mileage covered – Scotland is a big place with big distances between places.

Mileage at start 113720 km and 114458 km at home, totalling 738 km (461 miles).