Aviemore has a different feel than the area of Scotland we just came from. It is more of a tourist destination for skiing, hiking, or bike riding. Ballater and Braemar were towns where everyone knew each other, we met April on the bus to Ballater, she spoke to Steve the driver and had him drop us off closer to our hotel, then the next day we ran into her on the street and it was like we were old friends. She introduced us to her friend, wanted to know everything we had done since we saw her last, we learned she was 83 but seemed 10 years younger. We started to feel like big fish in a small pond as we learned from our inn keeper in Braemar she had been discussing us with Julian, our safari driver.
Yesterday after a two hour car ride through the beautiful Cairngorms we arrived to the hustle bustle of a busy town where few people know each other as most are from out of town. We did a walk around, toured a brewery, with a tasting of course, checked out the local golf course, had dinner and called it a day.
Today we did an 11 mile hill walk (as they call hiking) around a Loch an Eilein. We encountered tons of bike riders, horse riders and many people walking with their dogs. I think Tammy and Joanne could tell you the name of every dog we met!
This castle is thought to have been the site of a defensive structure from early in the 1200’s. Since then it has been added to, and is particularly associated with a period of occupation by the Wolf of Badendoch (the grandson of Robert the Bruce) around 1400.
It has been another full and beautiful day in Scotland!