Gathering llamas with the Queen

We had a fantastic weekend away at Glenshee Ecocamp and the Braemar Gathering. We stayed in a vintage train wagon which has been converted into off-grid accommodation.

IMG_2424.JPG

IMG_2629.JPG

It was wonderful! Very quiet and peaceful (except for our noisy kids!) and lots of stunning scenery including a starlit sky at night. The kids were not bothered by the lack of electricity and wifi – having donkeys, llamas, and squirrels around definitely helped.

IMG_2646.JPG

IMG_2667.JPG

We spent Saturday at the Braemar gathering. The drive from the Ecocamp over to Braemar is the highest road in the UK and absolutely gorgeous. In winter they call it the snow road. We went over and back several times and each time it’s a little bit different depending on the weather and time of day. Sometimes there’s low cloud and you can’t see anything, other times it’s sunny and you get to enjoy a sunset, or maybe there are dark clouds and it looks foreboding. Whatever the weather, I always feel small and insignificant with those ancient hills towering up in all directions. The heather gives the hills a purplish tinge and there are beautiful old stone bridges, sparkling clear streams, the odd stone bothy, and lots of sheep. If you’ve never done it then you absolutely must. It’s a good, safe road. Steep in one place but nothing scary. It’s two lanes the whole way with plenty of places to pullover, stop, and take photos.

IMG_2687.JPG

IMG_2381.jpg

IMG_2391.JPG

IMG_2628.JPG

IMG_2709.jpg

The Braemar Gathering was exciting. It seemed to be busier this year than last but maybe that’s just my imagination.

IMG_2513.JPG

IMG_2542.JPG

Here’s the Queen’s motorcade arriving.

IMG_2519.JPG

Afterwards the Queen opened a new building which has just been completed and will be home to a museum and cafe. It’s a beautiful building and tastefully designed to fit in with the architecture in the village.

IMG_2582.JPG

She’s the one in the turquoise dress and hat.

IMG_2596.JPG

IMG_2597.JPG

IMG_2575.jpg

Both kids competed in the sack race which was mayhem. Daniel was one of the oldest and so had to start from right at the back but he jumped so fast and gained a lot of ground, managing to side-step the children in front of him who had fallen over.

IMG_2552.JPG

IMG_2563.jpg