Scotland Day 2: An unexpected Mountain!
Scotland Day 2: An unexpected Mountain!

Scotland Day 2: An unexpected Mountain!


Our second day in Scotland was dedicated to immersing ourselves in the beauty of Braemar and its surroundings. The day turned out to be filled with unexpected adventures, stunning vistas, and pleasant surprises. Join us as we recount the highlights of our memorable day.

Part 1: Morrone Birkwood Walk

To acquaint ourselves with the area, we embarked on the Morrone Birkwood Walk, located at the foot of the Morrone mountain. The trail meandered through a birch forest, with the early signs of spring awakening the natural surroundings. Though the blossoms were sparse, the spacing of the birch trees provided enchanting views. As we walked, we marveled at the panoramic carpet of fields and forests along the River Dee, backed by rolling mountains. The trail alternated between younger and older birch trees, and the dense low heather and moorland added to the picturesque scenery. Imagining the forest’s ethereal beauty on a rainy or foggy day, we felt grateful for the stunning weather that blessed our walk.

Part 2: An Unexpected Mountain

Inspired by the incredible weather, we seized the opportunity to embark on an unplanned ascent of Morrone Mountain. Rushing back to our B&B to gather the necessary equipment, we set off on our first Scottish mountain adventure. With an ascent of 650 meters, the trail was comfortable and well-marked. As we gained altitude, the views over Braemar became more captivating. The wind, initially absent in Braemar, greeted us as we ascended. As we reached higher, we donned wind-resistant jackets, vests, and hats to combat the chill. The summit, at 859 meters, offered a breathtaking 360-degree view. Towering mountains, including the majestic peaks of the high Cairngorms, surrounded us. We even spotted snowfields in the distance. While my wife sought shelter from the wind near a hut, I eagerly captured the scenic beauty around us, attempting to capture the vastness of the panorama. After feeling a bit chilled, we began our descent, realizing that the wind had subsided significantly. Removing layers, we reveled in the warmth of the sun on our journey back down. Opting to retrace our steps rather than take the recommended circular trail, we cherished the ongoing vista of Braemar, always in front of us.

Part 3: Walking Braemar

Returning to our cozy stay at Ivy Cottage, we reflected on the incredible start to our vacation. After refreshing ourselves, we took a leisurely stroll around Braemar, exploring the local churches, admiring the ruins of Kindrochit Castle, and attempting to find the perfect vantage point to capture the charm of the Five Arms hotel. As the day drew to a close, we savored a delightful dinner at a local pub, reminiscing about the day’s adventures.

Conclusion and our learnings

Reflecting on our day in Braemar, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the hiking experiences we encountered. The contrast between the snowfields at around 900 meters above sea level in Scotland, compared to my previous hikes back home in the Alps, where snow wasn’t encountered until above 1300 meters, was truly surprising. It served as a reminder of the unique climate and terrain of the Scottish Highlands.

The sudden, steady wind that greeted us on the summit of Morrone Mountain was another revelation. With the absence of taller peaks to attenuate the wind, it became evident why warnings about icy conditions during winter hiking in the Highlands were prevalent. Braemar, known as one of the snowiest regions in Scotland, with snow depths reaching up to half a meter in the valley, served as a powerful reminder of the need to respect the elements and be prepared for changing weather conditions.

As we continued our journey through Scotland, these insights reminded us to always approach hiking in the Highlands with caution and be mindful of the potential challenges that the terrain and weather can present. It further deepened our appreciation for the natural wonders and unique conditions that make Scotland such an incredible destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Join us in the upcoming days and delve into the rich history and vibrant culture of the Scottish Highlands.

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