Day 6 in Cairngorms, Ballater and Aberdeen, Scotland

Through the glass doors in the dining area, we can see the lovely view of hares hopping around the field and horses grazing. The weather looks slightly gloomy today but that did not deter us from wanting to trek up a hill to see reindeers!!! So excited!!!

15th May 2017

08:00 | Breakfast at Glentorets Bed & Breakfast
The village is really quiet in the morning with almost no one on the street outside our bedroom window. Freshened up and headed downstairs for our breakfast prepared by the host, Mark. Just beside the display cabinets, there are two world maps full of flags pinned onto the countries where the guests came from and gratitude cards. What a sweet reminder!

P.s. Glentorets Bed & Breakfast has closed their B&B business since end-2018 to be converted back into being a family home. However you can still experience Tomintoul with the host, Mark, through his walking tour service or Tomintours as he named it.

10:00 | Saw the reindeers at Cairngorm Reindeer Centre
Our first order of the day is wao see the reindeers! Reached the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre early to ensure that we each get a place for the hill trip to see herds of reindeers roaming around freely. Unfortunately, due to bad weather, the 11am trip was cancelled. But on a good note, the staff informed us that we can buy the ticket for the paddock visit first and should the weather condition improve later, we can top-up an additional fee for the 2.30pm hill trip. 

Hence we went ahead to visit the paddock. An adorable sight greeted us when we pushed open the paddock door… it’s a mother reindeer (Sambar) with its calf!!! There were three more reindeers (Scrabble, Stenoa and Olympic). However, I had a hard time attracting the reindeers toward me! 

Inside the paddock, there is an exhibition area filled with interesting facts of reindeers to read up on. So glad that we were the only ones in the paddock that morning which allowed us to slowly enjoy our time at the paddock. 

12:00 | Lunch at Cobbs Cafe in Glenmore Forest Visitor Centre
After the long visit at the paddock, we went to the nearby cafe to have our lunch. As the weather was still pretty chilly and we were not equipped with the suitable clothing, a sensible decision was made to not go ahead with the afternoon hill trip. Really wish that we will have a chance to see herds of reindeers in their natural environment next time!

14:30 | Adventurous drive along A939 road and spotted hairy Coos
Our drive along the long A939 road was filled with fantastic views of Scotland landscape! Stopped our car halfway and had some fun taking photos with the curved endless road behind us. From there, we passed by more majestic views which our photos cannot do justice to. You must be there to see it for yourself! 

Soon, google maps directed us onto a narrow road which led us to spotting some… coos!!! We’ve been wanting to see the Coos up-close since the beginning of our trip. They look like furry soft toys!!! 

16:00 | Discovered the glorious Ballater village
Decided to stopover at Ballater village for a quick break. The beautiful Glenmuick Parish Church stood in the middle of the park and surrounded by cute little shops such as A. B. Yule Bookshop. During our stroll around the village, we saw a fat Scottish Terrier that walks funnily due to its excessive weight.

From a distance, we saw a beautiful row of trees with pink flowers along some houses. Upon closer look, these pink flowers are actually cherry blossoms!!! It’s our first time seeing cherry blossom in person!! And we were so surprised to see it here in Scotland! Felt so happy and lucky to chance upon these cherry blossoms in this small town!

18:00 | Checked into our Airbnb at Aberdeen
The host welcomed us to our cosy Airbnb and gave us a short introduction about the place. I was really looking forward to preparing breakfast in this spacious kitchen the next morning! 

19:00 | Dinner at Brewdog Castlegate
Ate burgers and drank craft beer at Brewdog. Made a silly mistake by ordering something too spicy twice. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our time there and took a long walk back to our Airbnb while watching the sunset in Aberdeen.

Although we did not get to see the free roaming herd of reindeers on the hill, we saw coos and cherry blossoms which were a first for both of us. This proves that the best moments are the unplanned ones, and these moments are the often the ones that make perfect memories. Don’t you agree? 

You can read up on the rest of our 17 days’ adventure in Scotland and England here

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