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Adorable Chick

UK & IRELAND diary : Day 8 - 18th April 2017

The Craingorms National Park lies in the north-east part of Scotland , below Inverness and covers around 4000 and odd kilometres. The park houses mountain ranges, various flora and fauna, trekking trails, tourist accommodation and plenty of activities. It is the home to famous Grampian mountains. Tourism here, provides 80% of the income.

Getting to Craingorms was a super journey, not a destination. Our Mini Bus left Fort Augustus, stopped for a while at Spean Bridge Mill restaurant. The environment was totally serene. The village of Spean Bridge is referred to often as the crossroad junction of the Scottish Highlands, more of a connect between Fort William and Fort Augustus. The village is known for its commando memorial, whose view point offers breath taking scenes of the highlands. We had already covered the memorial on our way to Fort Augustus from Fort William that morning (Read story under FORT WILLIAM for more pictures and information). We were happy with the much needed restaurant break instead.

After a cup of the much required hot coffee & some yummy hot Snacks , we surged ahead deeper into the highlands to reach a small waterfall deep inside the STRATHMASHIE Forest. It was more of a fun stop. Not many members of the tour preferred the walk. Many were tired and remained inside the bus. A few of us ventured out. Walking through the forest path, to get to the waterfall somewhere deep inside, was quite adventurous. The forest was not scary to walk through. It was well maintained. There were adequate sign boards and we found our way easily. The gurgling of water could be heard at a distance. Suddenly we spotted the fall at a distance, amidst trees. It was a shallow waterfall.

Tidy Desk

We had to climb a little to get a full picture. The nature was raw. We spent more time climbing a few rocks to get the best possible seating with a view. The stop was not long, it just lasted twenty minutes or so, but we enjoyed ourselves. Of course posing for photos was mandatory. We found our way back quickly.

We soon rocketed into the "DRUMOCHTER PASS" This pass is a part of the Craingorms National Park. There was excitement in the bus as we passed hypnotic landscapes all along the way.

Country music in the bus didn't seem to stop. The guide provided loads of important information as and when required. One such most interesting information I have ever heard, is that Scottish Highlands are totally free from SNAKES. Isn't that fascinating ? The group of 16 listened keenly as he explained how a certain person hunted down the few snakes which were found, during ancient times and ensured that the entire Scottish highland area was free from this reptile. Seemed more like a fairy tale to me, as we were all nodding in awe and acceptance of the fact. How can the entire Highland area not have even a single snake. It keeps me wondering till date.

Driving through the northern and surrounding Highlands of Perthshire, travelling through the think, deep green pine-clad slopes, with views of fast flowing rivers, we made our bee-line through the land, twisting away on winding roads and zooming away on the straight ones, still flooded with mountainous sights on either side. We didn't seem to get enough of the scenery. It was indeed dramatic throughout. We soon reached the outskirts of Edinburgh, driving parallel to the famous red coloured FORTH BRIDGE. We got to the centre of Edinburgh, at the RABBIE's cafe. It was a long day, well worth the area covered. By 8. pm we were able to board a local bus to get back to our apartment in Leith. We still were reminiscing the sights of the day. We can't thank the RABBIES team enough for this most precious experience.