2010-03-28-scotland-tripsout-braemar

On the 28th March I vroomed to Perth and then then took a long slooooow drive along the A93 towards Braemar and then Aberdeen. With a shortish detour round the B976, A938,A944,A97 the infamous Ballater to Tomintoul road that is closed every time the weather is bad. I had lovely fine weather for my trip although two days later it was all snowed up and impassable again.

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p3280096 Interesting roadsignage. Made me think:

"On Weathertop. Frodo! Beware the dark riders of Sauron. They lie in wait for you round the bends".

p3280097 I was getting low on fuel when I got to the Spittal of Glenshee. I rang and rang but no slave came. Then I noticed the sheet of paper stuck to the other side of the bell that said "Sorry no fuel".
p3280098 So I pushed on towards Braemar. I had the road all to myself. Honestly these photos do not pass on the feeling of peace and quiet and the hugeness of the space.
p3280099 I was happy to just tootle along slowly as I wasn't holding any one up.
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p3280101 As is often the case every bend brings another view. I couldn't photo them all.
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p3280103 I was taken by the tenacity of the tree way up there.
p3280104 About a mile further on were some daft sods skiing.
p3280105 The lay-by is the original road so you can see why it was always being blocked.
p3280106 The recent snow had almost all gone. Little did I know more was coming.
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p3280108 The first house I saw at Braemar. It looks quite picturesque but a closer look shows the windows are boarded up and painted to look like windows.
p3280109 Crossing over a small bridge into the town we cross Clunnie Water. At first glance it looks fabby to have a stream in the back garden.
p3280110 A war memorial to the pilots who died during training doing low flying through the valley.
p3280111 Braemar high street
p3280112 And looking back. It must be good to have views like these from your home.
p3280113 We are here.
p3280114 OK ok. I know what you're thinking. They do not sell sex toys.
p3280115 Well, if you gotta go, you gotta go.
p3280116 Signage that works.
p3280117 See, no bicycles on the building.
p3280118 Look closely. There are two hand guided horse drawn ploughs here. Pity the gutter has broken.
p3280119 As I said before I took a detour up into the clouds to see the Tomintoul road. It is very wild and desolate.
p3280120 But it is March and so here we have a March Hare crossing the road.
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p3280123 and then bounding away up the hill side.
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p3280128 Weather sign. The camera doesn't show the rainbow too well but it was very bright.
p3280130 I almost expected to meet a tin man and a lion.
p3280131 I thought it was royal Deeside.
p3280132 Ah I was right, if you can make out the smaller sign.
p3280133 Much later in the day I was heading back to the hotel via the A90 and across in the distance I saw smoke on the hillside.
p3280134 I can not tell if it is smoke from a fire or clouds trapped by the shape of the hillside.
p3280135 At the time I thought of ancient volcanoes erupting. Little did I know what would happen a couple of months later in Iceland.
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