Scotland ~ Glenmore Forest Park: Day 2, August 27, 2017
Sunday morning, August 27, 2017. Temperature: 50°-63°F
I slept for 10:52 but I guess that’s really over 2 days since the “sleep” on the plane wasn’t great.
At 11:00 – I realized I left that expensive GH that I’ve been babying for over 20 hours, out on a shelf in the bathroom for 12 hours. At least it’s cool in chalet! I must have been exhausted last night. It still looks clear so I hope it’s ok.
We found that the Thunder in the Glen is going to take the Strathspey Railroad today for a bit of whiskey tasting so decided not to take that again, at least until later in the week.
Samantha Faircliff, of Cairngorms Brewery, which produces a beer especially for the occasion, said thousands of people come to the village to see the bikers. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-37194250
Figured out the French Press for coffee again.
The refrigerator is very cold. Milk has ice in it. I put GH in that insulated Rubbermaid lunch thing to keep it from freezing.
Trying to decide what to do. We decided against TreeZone Aviemore
High in the trees at Rothiemurchus, TreeZone is the ultimate Aerial Adventure Course.Zip wires, balance beams, hanging platforms, tightropes, scramble nets, white-knuckle bridges and gap jumps are set in the ancient Caledonian Pines of the Cairngorm Mountains. TreeZone is an unforgettable activity for adventurers of all ages.
Went out riding around, though Aviemore and the bikers. I took these as live photos so the movement of the bikers could be seen but the movement doesn’t show up here 🙁
We went past Loch Alvie, Alvie Estate…
Alvie & Dalraddy are traditional Highland Estates 4 miles south of Aviemore near the village of Kincraig in Badenoch, the geographic centre of Scotland. The Estates extend into the Monadhliath hills from the River Spey, famous for its fishing and whisky and overlook the Cairngorm Mountain range in the Cairngorms National Park.
We drove around a bit past Loch Alvie
We ended up at Glenmore Forest Park Visitor’s center. Got brochures, had a bit to eat and coffee… and ice cream 🙂
Text from Michael about FaceTiming.
We got back home and FaceTimed. Interestingly, the connection was better than at home. We showed him the apartment and chatted.
The people next door playing loud music – oldies, Beatles and such.
Tom discovered trouble with kitchen drain. The part over the dish drainer was draining into the silverware drawers.
He tried some self-repair and we decided this wasn’t really his job and we should get the staff handyman to come in in the morning. <sigh>
Very heavy rain. The Harley folks still had fireworks even in the rain.
I tried to upload sermons to church website but those weren’t going anywhere. Tried 2 different browsers, twice each. Maybe too many people online.
At 11:30 PM, I got an email “D preached all 3 [services] today, but his traditional and CG messages were different. He wanted the 11:00 sermon posted (I had uploaded the 8:15 to Dropbox, but since deleted it). I’ll edit the 11:00 one once I can get access to the server again. CG audio is up and the CG video is uploading to YouTube as we speak.”
Maybe it was just as well that at least the 11:00 didn’t upload since it would have to have been deleted anyway.
Bedtime about midnight. Still pouring rain.
Scotland: The Cairngorms National Park
I woke up about 7 because it was very sunny, with the sun streaming through the bedroom windows. I was able to get back to sleep until 10:30. Then, at 11:30 it was cloudy and it began to rain.
We stopped at the Aviemore post office to change dollars to pounds since no one here is interested in American money.
Then, we went on to Cairn Gorm Mountain through Rothiemurchus Forest with a reindeer center, a sled dog center, clay pigeons shooting and Segways. Stretching from the River Spey to the high mountain plateau, Rothiemurchus sits within the Cairngorms National Park.
We also went by Loch Murlich (Scottish Gaelic, Loch Mhùrlaig), a freshwater loch in the Badenoch and Strathspey area of Highland, Scotland near Aviemore. The loch is home to a watersports center with kayaking, sailing and windsurfing among the activities available. There is also a yacht club and cycling routes around the loch. The loch is at the foot of the Cairngorm mountains, just a few miles from Aviemore and were planning to go back another day but we didn’t make it.
Cairn Gorm (Cairngorm) (Gaelic: An Càrn Gorm, meaning Blue or Green Hill) is a mountain in the Scottish Highlands overlooking Strathspey and the town of Aviemore. At 1245 metres (4084 ft) it is the sixth highest mountain in the United Kingdom. It has given its name to the whole range, although these hills are properly known as Am Monadh Ruadh (the Red Hills) rather than the Cairngorms. Cairn Gorm is the most prominent of the Cairngorm mountains in the view from Speyside, but it is not the highest.
The mountain road was quite twisty and we had to go through a few snow gates but we got to the parking area – and it started raining.
We took funicular up, as far as it would let us go. In the winter, skiers can go higher.
The funicular railway operates by ‘hauling’ up one carriage using electric motors to pull the haul rope as the other carriage descends at the same time. The system is powered by two stationary in series 500 kW electric motors, a gear box and a ‘soft start-soft stop’ control system which can increase the electrical frequency and vary the current and voltage to control the carriage speeds as they approach or leave a station. An hydraulically operated ‘counter’ rope is connected to both carriages to maintain haul rope tension. The two carriages are permanently connected by the haul rope and the counter rope and can never operate independently.
The funicular railway system is normally operated from a manned control room within the Ptarmigan building but can also be operated from the Base station control room or from each railway carriage. There are dedicated sophisticated computer control, instrumentation, communication and safety systems for the railway which have a range of back up systems and there are also standby generators and manual back up systems for moving the carriages.
At the top, they had a very nice display, including a replica of the funicular car – complete with working horn, which children delighted in honking over and over.
There was a short video and information about a huge snowstorm which had covered the funicular and the first floor of the station.
We also learned about the Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui.
Am Fear Liath Mòr (Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [əm fɛɾ ʎiə moːɾ]; also known as the Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui or simply the Greyman) is the name of a presence or creature which is said to haunt the summit and passes of Ben Macdui, the highest peak of the Cairngorms and the second highest peak in Scotland (and also in the British Isles).
It has been described as an extremely tall figure covered with short hair, or as an unseen presence that causes uneasy feelings in people who climb the mountain. Evidence of the existence of this creature is limited to various sightings and a few photographs of unusual footprints.
It is traditionally seen as a supernatural being, but Am Fear Liath Mòr has been compared to the Yeti of the Himalaya and the Sasquatch or Bigfoot of North America. References to wild ‘Greymen’ in Scotland and similar creatures elsewhere in Europe, sometimes called Wudewas or ‘Wood Men’, date back to the 13th century, and are believed by some to represent relict hominids.
We went through the giftshop – of course. You always have to go through the giftshop to enter or leave anywhere that tourists might be.
We had lunch at the The Ptarmigan Restaurant, which is the highest restaurant in the UK. The Ptarmigan offers great panoramic views down to Loch Morlich and across to Ben Nevis (Ben Nevis is an Anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic name “Beinn Nibheis”. “Beinn” is the most common Gaelic word for “mountain”) and Ben Hope (Scottish Gaelic: Beinn Hòb).
I had Mac and cheese with slices of tomato and chips (fries) and Tom had chili over rice. The TV was showing Benedict Cumberbatch complaining about fans taking cellphone pictures while he was acting in Hamlet.
The TV also showed stories on milk prices, nightclub owners complaining about losing business to festivals, the Ferguson shooting.
We went to the observation deck. It was still raining but I went out, anyway.
We had to go back through the restaurant to get to the funicular and ran into the waiter from yesterday. What are the odds of that?
We took the Funicular down instead of walking, since it was raining so hard. Just before we got to the bottom station, we stopped. The operator said it was because the other car wasn’t at the top yet, which is when I learned that funiculars could be operated by a counterweight.
A funicular (/fjʉˈnɪkjʉlər/), also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope, the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalancing each other. Funiculars of one sort or another have existed for hundreds of years and continue to be used for moving both passengers and goods. Its name derives from the latin, funiculus, diminutive of funis, meaning “rope”.
We drove back through the pouring rain and it was nap time!
We woke up about 7pm and went to reception for to report that the sunroom heater stopped heating, then off to Tesco for groceries. This time, we took bags since they weren’t eager to give us any yesterday.
Then, back to reception to find out about where the laundry facilities were.
Our dinner was soup and potato salad since we’d had peanut butter sandwiches earlier.
On TV – same Benedict story as we’d see on the mountain, followed by tattoo fixers.
I’d planned on going to bed but then there was David Attenborough showing us the animals he’d take if he had an ark. We’d talked about him earlier since he had been prominently featured in a brochure onRothiemurchus and here he was on tv.
Then, there was a show on hormones, including Dr. Harvey Cushing, then a show on tower (bell) ringing. Aach.
I finally got to bed at 1:30am