A few weekends ago Gareth took me to Aviemore, as my birthday present. We got there around lunchtime, and headed straight for the Highland Wildlife Park.
I really enjoyed the park, and the weather that Saturday was just gorgeous as well.
Here are the Snow Monkeys cooling off, instead of warming up in hot springs as they’re usually pictured.
The Turkmenian Markhor was pretty impressive!
Snowy Owl enjoying a private joke.
One of the polar bears had just woken up from a snooze and was heading down to his pool.
We walked up to the observation point and admired the view. After the lovely heat and sunshine we’d been having for a while I couldn’t believe there was still snow lingering on some of the mountain tops.
We saw the two Amur tigers, but we couldn’t spot their new cubs. But we did see several wolf cubs.
We also spotted the rare Scottish Wildcat in action.
Some friends and I were discussing why the young of tigers, wolves, bears, etc. are called cubs, instead of puppies and kittens, and…bearlings? It appears to be a distinction between domestic animals and wild animals. I’m not buying into that, after all we don’t call baby wild monkeys cubs. Wolves are big dogs, and lions and tigers are big cats, so their babies are puppies and kittens. The bears can keep ‘cub’.
The view up at the other end of the park was lovely too.
After that we headed to the car for the final part, the safari section. We could see some of the hoofed animals from the walking areas, but you see them best as you drive through the safari track. You can go round as many times as you like, but we’d already been there about 3 hours so we went round just once.
Then we headed over to Boat-of-Garten, the lovely wee village where we were staying, and had a drink at the beer garden of the Boat Hotel. Later in the evening we went back there to their restaurant, and had an amazing meal. The next day we’d planned to visit the reindeer centre, and the osprey centre (Boat-of-Garten is the Osprey Village apparently), and take a ride on ye olde steam train…but we woke up to pouring rain! So we decided to do indoor touristy things instead.
After 8 years in Aberdeen I finally visited a whiskey distillery. We went to the Dalwhinnie distillery, and it was a pretty interesting tour. I’m not a fan of single malts, but Gareth is, so he certainly enjoyed his taster. Actually, they also had a range of chocolates that are meant to complement their whiskey, and I did enjoy it more after I had one of those…
As it turns out, there was a Macbeth, in Moray, who killed a Duncan, in battle, and all of this had nothing whatsoever to do with Cawdor Castle…
Some 15th Century writers had taken some liberties with history, and Shakespeare took his poetic licence even further.
The rain had eased off a little by the time we were done with the inside, so we had a wander round the lovely gardens.
And after that we headed off, on a drizzly but uneventful drive back home.