November 10, 2010

Day Seven – Highland Spirit

We had seen the beautiful mountains that help make the Scottish scenery both iconic and memorable, but today we were actually going to be in it!  We departed Aberlour for the Cairngorms.  Although the area is popular for hill walking, we were (fortunately) going to take the funicular railway to the top!

The end of the funicular railway on Cairngorm. 
You wanted to see the mountain?  Come with us next time!
Alice checks out other accommodations
in the Cairngorm displays - but
decides to stay with her original arrangements
At the top are some very interesting displays – about the weather, about the mountain, about skiing, information for people of all interests. We, being an interesting group, were interested in everything. Cairngorm refers the range and to the mountain we were on. It is spectacular and very hard to leave.

But we did leave because we were bound for Ballindalloch Castle – home to Lady Clair McPherson Grant-Russell. She had graciously allowed us to have our harp event in her dining room. And, as harpers, we wereglad to be granted the honor and privilege of being invited to play in someone’s home. And what a home!

Ballindalloch Castle is a beautiful home inside and out!
  Mrs. Russell joined us for much of our harp event – if we’d only had another harp, she could have joined us - hopefully next time! While there we worked on tunes specifically related to the Castle. One of two people poked in and enjoyed observing our playing too. When we were done playing we visited the castle and then it really hit us how very lucky we were to have been invited to play there!

Mrs Russell chatted with us during our harp
event in the Dining room of Ballindalloch

On that high note (pun intended!) we departed for our last night’s accommodation.  We were all riding high from our incredible day – but we were not done yet! We all made ready for a lovely, homemade dinner in the style of hospitality for which Scotland is famous. David and Heather invited us into their home for a traditional dinner on our final evening. Heather made us a sumptuous feast and we all ate ‘til we were full to burstin’! I only wish any of us had had the presence of mind to take a picture – but again – if you want to see it, you’ll have to come with us next time!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I took that funicular in August - there was still snow on the hillsides - but I had to keep my eyes mostly shut lest I come over woozy. I really don't like heights!

I think it's just beyond cool that you got to play in a castle - by invitation! Of course, harp playing *is* the sort of thing one who lives in a castle would want to support, no?