Another beautiful place in beautiful Scotland. This bridge is actually on the Balmoral Estate. Beverly & went on a great Land Rover tour of the estate & our wonderful guide John told us all about the bridge & the place. Unfortunately, I was focusing on making a beautiful image vs. what John was saying… so I did a better job on capturing the image than I did capturing th history. If I am not mistaken, the bridge was built as a gift to Queen Victoria, but don’t quote me on that…
There is something quite spiritual about a walk in the woods. In these days of urban sprawl I find it’s truly difficult to really remove yourself from society & just listen to the sounds, observe the colors, sense the scents of nature. So often when you try, you discover the sound of a nearby highway or a high flying jet overhead leaving its mark in the sky. Walking in the Ballochbuie Forest you are able remove yourself from all the urban distractions & hear only the breeze in the trees, smell nothing but fresh clean air, see nothing but clear skies overhead. No matter if you are an author, accountant, photographer, or monarch it’s so easy to get distracted by all we are trying to get done & forget about what we truly are. Over one hundred and fifty years ago Henry David Thoreau escaped to Walden & wrote: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” At the same time across the Atlantic, Queen Victoria was building her place in the Highlands of Scotland to escape to the woods. The need to experience nature is universal. We all need to protect these places that allow us to return. For those that don’t have the resources to own a 50,000 acre estate & open it to the public, (thank you Queen Elizabeth), consider contributing what you can to an organization such as the Sierra Club in America that helps to balance our ‘progress’ & protect our wild places.
While in Scotland we stayed at Balmoral, so spending some time at the Castle & surrounds seemed like an obvious way to spend a beautiful spring day in Scotland. (No, we didn’t say in the castle. We stayed in a wonderful little guest house. You can see a photo of our place here.) The grounds are beautiful & the Castle itself is wonderfully un-pretentious. The estate is virtually self sufficient with the organic gardens providing all the vegetables & floral decorations.
Beverly & I just returned from a wonderful trip in Scotland. Now that I am back in the land of technology, I’ll spend the next few days sharing a few images of that beautiful country.
We spent our first week of our vacation as a tenant of Queen Elizabeth II at one of her “Holiday Cottages” on her Balmoral Estate. Queen Victoria originally purchased the estate in 1848 and Balmoral has been the Scottish Home of the British Royal Family ever since. After spending a few days in and around Balmoral, I certainly understand why the Royals go to Balmoral to “get away”. The actual estate is over 50,000 acres and in addition to the Balmoral Castle, includes a half dozen Cottages that they rent out by the week. We stayed in The Old Schoolhouse. It’s a lovely cottage that overlooks the River Muick very near Ballater & it provided the perfect home base for our travels.