Scotland – Cairngorms National Park I
After we leaved the beautiful island of Skye we go back onto the land. We travel over 100 miles to the east to Aviemore summer resort where we would spend two nights.
The national park goes by the same name as the Cairngorms mountains. Founded in 2003, the park features five of the five of the highest mountains in Scotland. The highest one rises to 1309 meters. Skiers, cross country skiers, rock climbers, and glacier climbers will love this place surely. In summer, the national park is popular among bikers, and enthusiasts of water sports such as windsurfing, canoeing, or sailing. You may make hikes in the park all year round.
We find the accommodation right in Aviemore. We discuss how we should spend the afternoon and the following days. There are many trips into the surroundings on offer. In slightly foggy weather, we make a two-hour trip up to Cairn mountain situated nearby. We join the Craigellachie National Nature Reserve trail not far from our guest house. While climbing up forest up to the mountain we pass by the beautiful lake Loch Pulladdern. MIsty hase veils the forest in mysterious atmosphere. Unfortunately, drizzle becomes strong rain soon. As we get higher and higher, rains changes to wet snow. When encountering some wet tourists we don't feel disheartened. Soon we reach our destination. Broadleaf forest changes to dwarf pine forest and even higher there is rocky terrain and heather. The vista here is anything but great. Despite this the walk through beautiful Scottish nature is amazing. By following the same route we get back down. Later we will make a short walk around the lake.
A pleasant surprise will wait for us on the following day in the morning. It got really cold in the night. This completely changed the landscape. And finally, the rain stopped. The sun shone and occasionally there was snow. Rabbits, squirels, and birds moved around in fresh snow because the staff put there a small feeder. However, we don't hesitate. Right after the breakfast we embark on the trip. We plan to go about 7 kilometers around Loch an Eilein lake situated in Rothiemurchus Forest. This trail is one of the most popular short walks inScotland. Moreover, it is very close to our hotel.
You may reach the lake quite comfortably by car. There is even a car park from which we set out to Loch an Eilein. On our right side inside a white building, we notice a visitors' center. Then we move on along a forest path closely following the lake. Soon we notice the ruins of a castle on the island in the middle of the lake . This is the attraction which lures in tourists in large numbers.
It is a gorgeous vista in the winter landscape. We highly recommend you to take waterproof boots. Moreover, this one is not a difficult trail. Rather, it is a nice walk where you take a number of beautiful pictures. It is estimated that the trek takes about 2 hours. However, we made it in mere hour and half in moderate pace. Yet this doesn't matter. Cairngorms national park offers a great number of long and short trails and all of them are amazing.
GPS: 57°08'52.7"N 3°49'33.6"W
Text and photos: Veronika Schubertová
Our Slovenian adventure full of knowledge continues. After visiting the Kranjska Gora, which is surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, we move on to another natural gem - the Vintgar Gorge (Blejski Vintgar, Vintgar Sotesque).
It is time to leave the landscape of lakes, mountains, and long valleys in the center of Scotland and head through the inhospitable wasteland to the north to Thurso in sight of the Orkney islands. Instead of the highway A9, leading along the coast, I also chose deserted roads through endless moors and wetlands.
The mountains in the north-west of Scotland rarely exceed 800 meters and roads usually run along rivers or coasts. Therefore, I would not expect here to be as beautiful and high as Applecross pass. Let's go to there!
If I could only return to Scotland in one place, it would be either a remote and deserted mountainous island of Harriss, or justified by Skye. And the more I think about it, the more Skye wins.
My visit to Scotland was coming to an end, but I still had about 2,000 kilometers to go home. But Scotland is beautiful, so why hurry? So I stopped at several places on the Isle of Skye and gradually reached the highest mountain of Ben Nevis.
The Hogwarts School of Magic is located somewhere in the Highlands, so it's no wonder the landscape is literally interwoven with references to Harry Potter books. J. K. Rowling, who wrote the books, was inspired mainly in the streets of Edinburgh, where she lived at that time. On every corner you can find some unobtrusive reminder from the books, be it street names that look strangely reminiscent of the names of the key characters, or the places where the books themselves were written.
In connection with Scotland, everyone will surely recall the fierce people fighting for independence throughout the history of this wild country, be it the Norman and Viking raiders, or the English and Irish usurpers. For the first time, however, the Romans attempted to penetrate the area at that time inhabited by the wild tribes of the Picts and the quieter Britons under the command of Agricola. However, they soon found that the land was not profitable enough for the long-term stay of the soldiers, so they decided to leave the north of Great Britain again and leave the newly built roads, fortresses and ramparts lying fallow.
Edinburgh is a Scottish city with a radiant atmosphere from Harry Potter movies. Scotch whiskey and history must not be missed here. If you are already in Edinburgh, be sure not to miss a visit to the famous Royal Yacht Britannia. It is interesting to see how not only the royal family lived on the ship. Admission £ 17 per person is worth every penny, plus the audio guide's interpretation is in Czech.
In the long valley between Fort William and Pitlochry in the middle of Scotland lies a large heath and in the middle of it one of the most deserted train stations. Surrounded only by lakes and heathland, you can still have tea inside it.
Near the famous Lake Ness, there lies at the mouth of the river of the same name into the sea and the ancient city of Inverness. Today it serves as a natural center for the entire Highlands of Scotland. But the city itself is worth a stop and a little exploration.
When I first went out into the world at 18, it was Scotland. I still remember the moon in it, when I almost traced it all to this day. For 7 years I wanted to go back and finally it was time. I got on a motorbike in Prague and set off for about 2000 kilometers long way to the northwest.
We leave the Aviemore summer resort and travel down to the south to Perth. There we intend to spend our last night in Scotland. We are about to travel for hour two hours by car.
Upon our walk around Loch an Eilein lake, we return to have quick lunch in Aviemore village. Then we set out back to snow covered Scotish nature. This time we walk through a 5 kilometer trail in Ellan Wood, close to Carrbridge village which itself is situated about 20 minutes of car ride from Aviemore.
Autumn is an unusual time of the year to travel. For a long time, we were thinking if to even set out despite less dayilight time, winter, often rains yet Scotland captured us with its beauty and we would eventually buy our flight tickets. There is a regular connection between Prague and Edinburgh. Glasgow is about an hour of car ride from Edinburgh. Yet first we would travel bit further to the west and make a trek in the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.
Early in the morning we set out to explore the beautiful Scotish island of Skye. Today, we are about to expect the rain whole day. We are disappointed by that because the place is beautiful. However, as rains are quite common around here it is nothing easy to plan your trip accordingly.
On this day we set off to central Scotland, to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Loch Lomond is the largest Scotish lake with the area of 71 square kilometers, the maximal depth of the lake is192 meters. There are over 30 small islands and we strive for visiting one of them.
Already in the summer of 2011, I was in Scotland for a few days visit. But this time it was different. And maybe even a little crazy. At this time I was a fresh adult student, only with a flight ticket to home, about three hundred pounds in his pocket and an overnight stay for the first night.
After a half-an-hour ride I get off in Aberdour, a fishermen town in the Forth Bay. I have no idea where to go so I just follow arrows of the Fife Coastal Path. The reason is perhaps that it goes along the railway (and thus along the coastline as well).
The Scottish referendum is popular topic in world media. Even if the Scots decided not to get out of three hundred year long relationship with England. It is almost certain that London would loosen its tight to Scotland. It is a question how would Scotland do as an independent country and how its would fare on international level.
After a short introduction to Glasgow in the last part of our series, today we move on to its streets to explore the most famous sights and places.
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