Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Still Winter

Helen's sister Jenny came to visit for a long weekend over Easter.   The ongoing winter weather (it's snowed today on April 4th as a I write this) is punctuated with the odd hint of sunshine.  Seizing an opportunity on a fine morning we set of North to visit first Loch Arklet which looked magnificent:

This small abandoned dwelling has some amazing landscape to dwell upon:

We reached Inversnaid and enjoyed a short boggy walk to Rob Roy's viewpoint over Loch Lomond:

Before heading round to complete the circuit, passing the waterfalls by the Inversnaid Hotel.   Tourist boats were out on the water, I bet everyone was sat inside, keeping warm!

Down at the waterfront the view was equally impressive:

Having finished at Inversnaid and enjoyed lunch overlooking Loch Katrine we meandered back, passing Loch Arklet again:

The next day was rain day but given another break in the weather we planned a trip a lot further North, staying on the Moray Firth at Rosehearty, near Fraserburgh.  On the way up the forecast snow was falling in the Cairngorms but we stopped anyway to visit Ruthven Barracks:

A strong cold wind rolling off the hills made it feel a lot colder than the 1c air temperature, it was properly baltic but worth a visit nonetheless.   This is the stable with a snowy-mountain backdrop:

We stopped at Cullen for an afternoon walk along the impressive geologically featured coastline:

The forces that turned that sedimentary rock through 90 degrees must have been immense indeed.  We enjoyed the walk although the wet and hard winter meant the principle circular paths had been so eroded they were shut, we used a secondary ascent route and that proved precarious but passable.   A good walk but calling for a hot cuppa ASAP.

The following morning was the bright and bitterly cold start forecast.  I headed down to the small harbour in Rosehearty to take a few snaps in the low morning light:

It was beautiful but i was chased back in by the wind for breakfast.

Starting our return trip (we should have added another night it proved too long a trip and we had to dash around fitting things in we wanted to visit and see) we stopped at Slains castle:

It is an amazing and impressive ruin with a sad story of its own.  Apparently it is in private hands and was going to be developed into luxury apartments.  Now however it is going to ruin.  Perhaps the government could step in and rescue it before it is lost for ever?

The castle is magnificently situated on the coast:

From Slains we headed south toward Newburgh to explore Forvie National Nature Reserve.  It proved an interesting spot though one i think that would be improved with a visit in Spring or Summer.

Heading to the Southern part of the reserve to have a look there we followed a sign for the seals, they have a beach they use just beyond the currently closed Ternery at the Southern end of the NNR.   We estimate 1,000 seals were grumpily moving up the beach to escape the rising Spring tide.   They made quite a racket and number of the younger animals were in the water close to the shore with the human onlookers, watching us, watching them (worth a click to expand this one to see the scale of the spectacle):

We also visited Dunnotar again, just south of Aberdeen and drove through Arbroath too, the Abbey looks worth a visit as do a few other sites in that historic town..   There's so much to see and explore in Scotland, i just wish Spring would get on with itself now and usher Winter away for a few months! 


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