A walk in the snow.

Contrary to the image that most people have of Scotland, where I live we rarely seem to get much snow and if we do it just doesn’t last. Fortunately, as skiers, we only live an hour’s drive from the Cairngorms where there’s a good chance of there being snow at this time of year. Having enjoyed our ski holiday in Austria a couple of weeks ago we have been waiting for the chance to do a little more skiing a bit closer to home. Sadly, although the Cairngorms has been getting some good falls of snow it’s been very windy with low cloud so not the most pleasant of skiing conditions. However, we had it in mind to take a trip up Aviemore way so packed our walking gear instead and ‘headed towards the hills’!

Love the light feature inside the Druie Cafe.

Love the light feature inside the Druie Cafe.

After our drive a coffee and scone was a priority and we stopped in the cafe at the Rothiemurchus Centre.  We both declared the cheese scones were the best we’ve ever had- well besides mine, of course!

The centre is situated in the old Rothiemurchus School and besides the cafe there is a nice shop area which sells a selection of gifts, stationery and food items. Being part of the Rothiemurchus estate you can buy local venison, highland cow and salmon products. Definitely, worth a browse and a refreshment stop.

Over coffee we had decided to walk around Loch Morlich which was just a wee bit further along the road.

The day stayed dry and wind free, but looking towards the ski area we didn’t regret not taking our skis as it seemed to shrouded in low cloud most of the day.

A frozen Loch Morlich with cloudy Cairngorms behind.

A frozen Loch Morlich with cloudy Cairngorms behind.

We came across a number of snowmen around the loch, but this is definitely the most macabre I've ever seen!

We came across a number of snowmen around the loch, but this is definitely the most macabre I’ve ever seen!

The trees looked beautiful covered in snow.

The trees looked beautiful covered in snow.

Half way round we came to the cafe at Glenmore. This had always been a favourite stop after a day’s skiing some 30+ years ago. Apple Strudel was a firm favourite of ours in those days. Was it still on the menu?

Would there be apple strudel?

Would there be apple strudel?

Inside, the cafe looked pretty much the same but the little food shop that had been attached to it is now a small shop area selling outdoor related goods and postcards and books. An extension has been added to this part to make a pub. They advertise live music at the weekends and it sounded more on the folk, traditional type which is often sadly lacking these days. Hopefully, it’s a success.

So did we get apple strudel? We were very sensible and had lentil soup and a roll and then my husband had apple strudel!

You'll be having apple strudel with that cream, Sir?!

You’ll be having apple strudel with that cream, Sir?! 

Sadly, no yummy vanilla sauce, like in Austria, but my husband was more than happy with his double  portion of squirty cream instead!

After all that indulgence a brisk walk back to the car was required. The sun had broken out and it was beautiful walking round the edge of the loch. We came across some very noisy ducks in a stream on the way.

It was lovely walking around the loch.

It was lovely walking around the loch.

imageI had taken the details of a few geocaches that had been hidden around the loch but now that there was snow everywhere it was impossible to find them . All was not lost as I could ‘bag’ an earthcache which, luckily, was back at the car park. All it entailed was taking a photograph of myself with the hills behind and answering a geology question about the last Ice Age! With a little help from ‘mr. google’ I think I cracked it!

So after a very enjoyable walk in the snow we headed home and talked enthusiastically about returning soon for another walk? Ski? Or cross country ski? Depending on the weather and our mood. Whatever the activity I have a feeling cheese scones and apple strudel might be involved again:)

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Farewell January!

Fabulous skiing in Lech.I was dreading January as I seemed to remember, in the past, it just dragged on and on tediously and depressingly for what was definitely a lot longer than 31 days. But, not this first January since leaving Saudi:)

I suppose one reason could be not having to drag myself out of my bed on cold, dark mornings and drive to work in whatever the weather decided to deliver! How different to go in search of the snow for pleasure. Definitely, getting away to Austria for a lovely week’s skiing and excellent food helped January slip by more enjoyably.

Scrummy apple strudel.

Scrummy apple strudel.

Since getting back I’ve been frantically trying to catch up with my OU course, Children’s Literature. Up until now I’ve plodded through the set books because I’ve had to, but the books this time have been much more engaging, as far as I’ve been concerned. As a primary school teacher of over 30 years I’m embarrassed to admit how few I’ve read. This month the 4 novels are all literary award winners- Swallows and Amazons, tom’s Midnight Garden, northern Lights and Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry. The last one, set in 1930’s Mississippi, USA, was the one that drew me in the most. It definitely will stay with me a long time and even although I know about the injustices of the apartheid   era it is still frightening how people can commit such horrific acts on another human being.

A definite must read!

A definite must read!

Sadly, looking around we have not moved on and atrocities are still inflicted on others just because they are  different.

O dear, I’ve got a bit off track!

So here we are in February,the shortest month of the year, and the last one before my 1 year anniversary of returning home. How time flies!