1. The University of Aberdeen uses the idea of 'The NORTH' (they may or may not use all caps, although I really think they should) to organize a program ('programme') of interdisciplinary research. The focuses of this research include climate change, the rise of early medieval kingdoms, northern temperaments, and northern colonialism. We saw an exhibit today in the university's library on the Far North, Arctic exploration, and art, anthropology, and science about the far north. Soul stirring. Obviously, any person of sound mind will want to organize a program of study along these lines. I know I do.
2. The library itself is rather superb. I did not know that a really famous illuminated manuscript--the Aberdeen Bestiary--is housed in its Special Collections. Check it out here and here--we saw a great digital exhibit at the library itself.
3. The Cairngorms, and Cairngorms National Park, are actually rather close to Aberdeen. The highest mountains in the UK are within the Cairngorms. Also, Cairngorms National Park is synonymous with The Highlands.
'Would you say that we're in The Highlands?' I asked, as we passed into Cairngorms National Park.
'Yep,' my daughter said.
'We just passed a sign that said, You are in The Highlands,' pointed out the historian.
Ahhhhhhhh. HIGHLANDS. So satisfying.
4. We went to Muir of Dinnet, which is a National Nature Reserve within the Cairngorms, the one closest to the cities in the east part of Scotland. Red deer and red squirrels, as well as the Scottish Wildcat, are at home there, though the wildlife we actually saw was more along the lines of songbirds. It's also where Burn O'Vat is, a beautiful hollow made when ice from a glacier just hung around, carving out a narrow gorge, still wet and green, a waterfall splashing into its base. There are also two lochs, Davan and Kinord, and a big peat bog that's being restored. We took a couple of sweet, not too taxing hikes (that's how I like 'em) on a perfect day.
|Amelia, Eli, the historian|
|scrambling into the Vat|
|looking across the bog|
|maybe a foxglove?|
|grass & sun|