May Bank Holiday Weekend
Sun in Scotland on a Bank Holiday Weekend - almost unheard of.......particularly sun in Scotland on a Bank Holiday Weekend when it is raining in England (heehee)!! Almost as unheard of is to plan a hike 3 weeks in advance and it doesn't rain!
I spent most of the weekend outdoors. It was sunny and the sky was blue, it wasn't the warmest and the winds were blustery but it was still great to be able to spend so much time outside.
Saturday I was back at Falkland Palace with the National Trust, busy working in the gardens again - weeding - my favourite garden past-time - and muck laying (compost).
Sunday I went to climb Schiehallion with my friends - one of Scotland's munros (moutains over 3000ft of which there are 284, with Schiehallion being the 57th highest in Scotland.) Schiehallion means, "Fairy Hill of the Scots" and the mountain is often said to stand at the centre of Scotland. It's conical shaped peak is certainly visible from many a mountain and it is a popular climb (it was almost like the local High Street yesterday!) The hike starts in the Braes of Foss car park (which is about 300m above sea level) and climbs to the peak at 1083m/3547ft along a quatrz ridge.
The mountain is also famous for being the place, where in 1774, the Reverend Nevil Maskelyne, Astronomer Royal, undertook a series of experiments which led to the calculation of the earth's mass and the mountain was also the first to be surveyed to make land contour lines, now universally employed in map making.
Some of my friends had climbed Schiehallion a couple of times before but they hadn't done it in the sunshine and wow - is the view from the top fantastic! You can see Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel, Ben Nevis (Scotland's highest mountain), Ben More, Beinn A Ghlo, Ben Cruachan and many more. We were up in 2 hours, had a 40 minute lunch in the sunshine atop and then 1.5 hours back down. All in all a great day!
Today, Victoria Day Bank Holiday, I awoke to sunshine and wind! But I decided it was time to get the bike out, first time this year.....tyres inflated, bike in car, I headed for Tayport, so I could cycle through Tentsmuir Forest and to the beach. There is nothing better than the sun shining through the Scots Pine, the newly opened ferns, the birds chirping and the smell of the pine. You feel alone in the world, soaking up nature. It was a glorious morning, taking the mountain bike paths and the footpaths, winding my way through the forest.