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To Braemar castle and touring around

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Thursday 08 September, to Braemar castle and touring around

We are early today and we have a plan: walking around Balmoreal castle, to Braemar, seeing even more castles, driving some roads where we have never been yet and visiting some towns. It will be nice weather, right? But no, today the weather gods do not like us very much: although the sun is still trying to break through, the clouds win and soon it starts to rain. The temperature drops from 18 to 13 degrees and it stays like that all morning, 10 degrees less than yesterday.
It is raining at Braemar CastleWe forget about the walk, first we go to Braemar Castle. It is a pity that I only wear sandals and my feet are quickly soaked in the wet grass. But it is nice that we are allowed to photograph everything in this little castle, we did not do that 16 years ago, because that was the last time we were inside and then we did not take many photographs, only form the outside (incredible, but then we had a 'normal' analogue camera with exactly 1 roll in it for 36 pictures).
But the camera does nothing when we turn it on.
It seems that the battery is empty. What, already? It is just fully charged, and it is a new camera also! But no, there is more to it, the memory stick seems to be write-protected. But that's really not posible! It is a new memory stick with more pictures of the past few days on it. Anyway, Braemar is a beautiful castle and is beautifully presented by volunteers who manage the castle. But no pictures, so we will have to visit again.
And after the castle we have lunch. This time we will not let us be surprised by the fact that we are coming at the wrong time. But unfortunately, on Thursday most restaurants around Braemar are closed. There is only a hotel where we can order an expensive snack. The sky seems to clear up a bit afterwards and we decide to drive around, roads that have not yet been marked on my big Scotland map. But first we look for a photo store where we can buy a new memory card so that we can photograph again.
Gatelodge at the Bridge of Muick Memorial stone along the B9119The sun shows itself now and then but it remains cold. There are not many roads through the Cairgorms area, they are almost all on the edge of the national park and we drive them all along, mostly through the woods.
Occasionally we see a nice house or a monument, like this one along the B9119, to remember that here the battle of Culblean occurred on November 30, 1335. You see, Schottish people have a good memory.
I have my metal detector in the back of the car and how much I would like to go searching here! But that is probably not allowed here and without permission I would not use it either. The rest of the holiday the detector remains unused in the car but there will be a day that I will take time to go searching with it in Scotland.
Landscape at Longfold Rainbow above Pronie LochOccasionally the sky opens up completely and the sun shines intensely although it does not get much warmer. But we can then take a few nice pictures of the environment through which we drive almost zigzagging to see all roads. Yet it rains most of the time and just as quickly as the sun appears, it disappears again. Typical Scottish weather, within half an hour all seasons can come by.
Our terrace in Forbestown LodgeIn the evening it remains sunny and it is warmer than during the day. I spend the whole evening working on the memory stick that just wants to be formatted but in the end I manage to do something with the memory stick with tweezers so that I can still retrieve a few pictures on the laptop. There are just a few that we have made today and in recent days but we do miss a lot. That feels like a disappointment, long live the digital age.

Friday 09 September 2016, northeast of the Cairngorms

Truck traffic on a narrow road, Lumsden Statue in InverurieThe next morning it is even wetter and colder than yesterday but we still get in the car to drive around, this time a bit more on the northeast side of the Cairngorms. There is no shortage of single track roads that I love so much, although Elisabeth always aits for the moment when I can not really go any further when we meet an oncoming car on such a narrow road. But I do not worry about that, usually there is a passing place in the neighborhood and if not then I will just have to drive back a bit.
Eventually we arrive in Inverurie where there is a monument of the 1st world war, The Great War, as it is called. For many countries it had much more impact than the 2nd world war. For the Netherlands this is of course different because we remained neutral in the 1st World War.
Sheep in the meadow, near Inverurie Sheep in the meadow, near InverurieInverurie itself is not such an impressive place but we drink coffee and take some hot soup. Then we follow the river Don and we come through vast hillscapes with heather and low bushes and lots of sheep. There has been a time when more sheep than people lived in Scotland but nowadays it is the other way around.
Handy such a sign, Clyde trail car parkAt the end of a dead-end road in the vicinity of Tillyfourie, the asphalt changes into an overgrown, unpaved path. Still useful that there is a sign that the road is not suitable for motorized traffic.
Due to the cold and wet weather, we are back in our house fairly early, where we immediately turn on the heating. We did not expect that when we arrived here with 23 degrees. Today it has not been hotter than 10 degrees and I have to stay inside tonight although I rather sit outside.


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