Sunday, 12 April 2009

Easter Egg Trail

This was the start of
our Quest to find the
clues to find the missing word. If you discovered the word you would be rewarded with an Easter egg. Yum, but only for kids, not big ones though!

As we climb up
beside the mountain stream we enter into woodland, with the majestic pines standing tall and straight. They stand in uniform rows like soldiers on guard, keeping out unwanted visitors. We find them inviting, as are the moss covered mounds which dot the forest floor

As it is such a lovely day we have brought a picnic with us. So we stop at a newly sited picnic table. It stands of the ridge of a hill overlooking the campsite we are staying on. The sun is very warm, enough for us to have our jumpers off. Yes we are in Scotland, and it is that hot!

This fallen pin tree made a good home for Stig, as he shows off his habitat. He is so pleased you have stopped to take a look at his home. Troy loves this side of exploring, as you get to be who you want living how you want. He could have got in underneath as it was quite big, but I really didn't want any more mud caked clothes. So he is standing at his doorway.
This is a beautiful wood, which leads to Glencoe village (as mentioned in the earlier blog) or back to the path we are currently following. We have only a few clues left, but Troy already knows the word is butterfly. That will not stop the search, as we have to follow the trail of red wool tied around trees marking our way.
We are enjoying ourselves to spoil it.

We make it back to the Glencoe Visitors Centre
triumphant in our quest, so all that is left to do is redeem our prize. Troy get an Easter egg, which is gone before you can say Peter Rabbit. So there is no picture to mark his victory. He declined on the face painting, so I made a bid for that treat. As you can see I chose a butterfly, which was the answer to the quest. Troy also received a monkey climbing a palm tree, no not the real thing but a balloon model. Again there is no picture because it slipped my mind. We were both so enthralled with the skill the gentleman inflated and squiggled his balloons into a bouquet of flowers, a teddy bear holding a flower and then Troy's prize. It truly is an art form I have to say. Alsa now the monkey and part of the tree have popped so there will be no picture evidence from us of this skill. I was also remiss in not getting the gentlemans details to let you know more information on him. So please forgive me of this sin on this occassion.
On return to our van there was nothing left to do but finish off the rest of the eggs and chocolate, leaving us happy and bloated.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Watching the Weather

Nature is spectacular if you take the time to notice. I have bee relaxing watching the weather unfold before my eyes. What was mist and rain earlier is now snow and rain. The white snow clouds have obscured the view of the mountains in front of me, as I lie on my bed. When they finally depart having shed their load on the mountain and ground, the tops will be white. Not thick but like a frosting of icing sugar on top of a cake. At ground level we are experiencing rain, but on the high ground it is still cold enough for it to fall as snow. Now that is Majick in it's true form. The wind is gently blowing in from the North-East, bringing cold air temperatures with it to ensure the mountains get their dose of snow before spring unfolds into summer. Only in Scotland can you get all four seasons in one day, nature sharing her power with you allowing you to feel refreshed and alive.
As we drove up from the South of England we were shrouded by fog until we reached the borders, when we were delighted by the greens of spring as she blankets the earth in colour. It did rain, but not for long as we travelled through into the sun, which make the Silver Birch Trees shine silver and purple. This part of the British Isle became our home for a year, or there about, and we always love coming home to the sanctuary of the mountains where you can see the weather approaching. This is not our home, as such, both my son and I were born in the South of England, but we came here when we first set sail in our motor Home. This was the land which breathed fresh life into both of us, him at five and me at forty years old. So it holds a special place in both our hearts, reaching out to us across the miles and calling us back when we are in need of recuperation.
We have come to Glencoe, a place of massacre which draws teh tourist, macabre lot! When the clouds descend it can be moody, but never the same atmosphere two days running. The campsite we are staying at is nestled between the mountains, so we have a panoramic view of their splendour. It appears as though you can just reach out and touch them, but in reality we are small beings at their feet. On a trail from the site is a woodland walk, which will take you to the village if you desire, which contains the ruins of a house where nine people were said to have been murdered in the massacre. It is a sad tale but familiar to this region of the British Isles. The English connived with clans to ensure all of Scotland succumbed to English rule, which happened in many guises until all of Scotland lost her independence and was tamed. It is no wonder they hated the English so much! I have to say we have experineced nothing but kindness in this beautiful land, which still has areas of unspoilt natural beauty just around any corner you care to wander. I felt totaly ignorant when I first learnt the History of this land, never having been taught more than a outline of the terrifying Picts and the determination of Robert the Bruce. This determination showed through across the centuries as the people picked themselves up, learnt new skills and jobs and lived new lives in new places. Life was hard for them but they survived and are now beginning to thrive on tourism educating visitors about their History.
There are tales of ghosts and spirits roaming these glens, and when the mists and clouds roll in you can almost feel the atmosphere alive with otherworldly beings, walking beside you as they continue on their way to lost homes. They remain to remind us of their sacrifices made trying to save their lands and way of life.
The most appealing sight I have seen is just after the rains have stopped and the air begins to dry, out of the trees and mountains smoke rises as if a dragon is breathing. I was told today I am a romantic, perhaps this is a romantic notion but one I am pleased to have. It is also a title I feel honoured to take on, a lot better than some I have been given in the past. I suppose it must be ambience of the surroundings which can bring these flights of fancy to the fore, allowing me to step outside the physical realm into the veil between the worlds. It opens your eyes to what is really there amongst the trees and mountains, beside the tumbling waters and Lochs. They stand by watching and waiting for you to stray into their realm and visit even if only for a while. I didn't have a date to be back down South I could get lost up here for as long as it took. That's how this place can affect you. It's like being lost in the land of the fairy folk, just living and being at one with everything.
So as the rain still falls on the world outside my home, I snuggle in the warm with the knowledge that tomorrow is a new day with new delights to surprise me.