one step at a time.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Cairngorms


This weekend we had a trip to the Cairngorm mountains near Aberdeen for a friend's wedding.


We went out on Friday for my friend's birthday. It was good fun, and as the designated driver for Saturday morning my boyfriend was supposed to stay relatively sober. I had to take him home after he started to doze off in the bar.... the weekend wasn't starting well!


We left Sat morning at 9ish - and were hoping to meet an old university friend of my boyfriend's before the wedding for a drink. It takes about 2.5 hours to travel to Braemar, and at one point through the hills I seriously thought I was going to have to get out of the car and walk, as we dropped gear, and dropped gear and still slowed down to a crawl up a particularly steep slope. We made it in the end though!


When we arrived we tried to check into the Youth Hostel, but it was not open. Instead they had left a sign saying it reopened at 5pm. As the bus was due to collect all guests from a square in the village at 1pm to take us to Mar Lodge, a beautiful Victorian house and hunting lodge on a country estate, I rang them at about 5pm to ask when the hostel closed, as we were at the wedding and hadn't been able to check in. The lady said not to worry as the doors were open all night.








The wedding was perfect! Location was stunning, wedding was lovely with some funny moments (such as asking the bride if she would take the groom to be her 'lawfully wedded wife!), food was great, speeches were funny, band were fab and most folk danced all night in the oddly decorated slightly gruesome lodge! (photo below of ceiling!)




The bus picked us all up to go back to the village at midnight, and we then walked back to the Youth Hostel. The door was indeed open, but there was nobody up. We had no key to the rooms, or any information left for what dorm we were to stay in. My boyfriend had an explore and found a dorm that was open. It was a bit smelly but at least had beds and blankets. We crashed there - then got up early as I had a rehearsal in Glasgow at 11 on Sunday. There was still nobody about in the hostel, so there was nowhere to pay.... so free accommodation.


We stopped in Glasgow at 10am for breakfast at my favourite restaurant. It does Sunday brunch which is always fantastic.


I then had the rehearsal - which was mercifully short. Then had an hour or so to stoke up on caffeine before starting a run of Copacabana at 2pm. The band call was fine, and they had a dress rehearsal for the show at 8pm which made for a REALLY long day. There's only so much that coffee and diet coke can do (even when you add tablet into the mix... anyone who hasn't tried tablet should - it's sugar, more sugar, condensed milk, and sugar, melted together and then set into little delicious squares of pure instant energy).

Today I got up at..........12pm.... after a long but rewarding weekend!

11 comments:

Gattina said...

It seems to be a wonderful place, besides this horrible ceiling ! Dancing under animal cranes how romantic !
I also had to drive my man home when we went out ! and once with a friend and they were both vomiting out of the window ! Was very nice, not at the moment but at least I have a story to tell !

the108 said...

Wow! What a beautiful place.... how enchanting!

Mother of Invention said...

Sounds and looks beautiful..well maybe not the part where you almost had no place to crash...but you got in free!

Queenie said...

Looks a wonderful place, and free accomadation, sounds a great week-end!!!!

Travis said...

That's a lot of stuff jammed into one weekend. Beautiful photos!

kailani said...

Can you imagine how much time and effort went into putting that roof up? Amazing!

Annelisa said...

Sounds like a great weekend, TC- Full, fun and not your run-of-the-mill!

You're right about that ceiling - quite macabre... Did you ask how many antlers were up there? And, did they fall off after rutting season, or were they from culled animals? I personally wouldn't like them all facing me - looks quite dangerous, like they might fall on top of you and stab you!!! :-S

I didn't know youth hostels stayed open all night! When you were saying about it, I imagined you having to sleep in the corridor or something - glad you managed to find a bed!

No wonder you slept until 12 after all that!!! :-)

TopChamp said...

the antlers are attached to skulls... so I'm thinking they were from hunted deer. We saw some alive ones there too. I think there were well over 2000 skulls up there. There were also lots of stuffed deer heads in the main house, which I find much more horrible... don't know why.

Bond said...

what fun!

thanks for the pictures...

well it is a "hunting" lodge....

Annelisa said...

eugh! It's not so bad if the antler's / heads are from dear culled for eating, but that's one heck of a lot of dear, isn't it! Must admit, it gives me the creeps having dead heads around... We used to have a shed at the bottom of our garden that we used as a 'gang' hut (you know, secret password to enter etc :-D ) and it had a fox head hanging on one wall... how I hated it. It had beady eyes, and it's tongue had come loose, and hung in a very odd way out the side of the mouth, between the teeth - horrible. Still gives me the shivers to think about it!! :-(

Robert said...

Great that you went to your friend's wedding. Hope u had loads of fun.No doubt with the photos you've posted that the location and moments were stunning!