I spend the weekend in the Cairngorms, the national park located in the northeast of Scotland. I packed my crampons and ice axe in hope of snow. There was no snow. I hiked in my baselayer and went for a swim – it’s technically still winter, but it felt like summer… hence the title: Welcome to Wummer
Such was the weekend. We departed from Edinburgh at 6pm Friday night and drove up through Pitlochry to Kingussie where we all stayed in the Woodlan House, a uni owned house with a kitchen and real beds! Luxury!
Saturday morning was an early start with bags on the bus by 7 AM. Naturally, because of my bad temper in the morning and general dislike of humans prior to 10 am, I set my alarm for 5.15 AM. I got up and immediately went to the kitchen to make breakfast and have at least three cups of heavily caffeinated tea. I had a nice 45 minutes of quiet before the rest of the 50 some odd people woke up. By 7AM, with boots and gaiters on we were loaded into the bus to be dropped down the road at Glenmore Lodge. We had a long day ahead of us with a 18 km hike up to Bynack Mor, down a bit, over and a up Cairn Gorm, and then down again.
It was really lovely. The temperature was cold but not terrible, the wind was bearable, and you couldn’t have asked for better visibility… you could have asked for a bit more snow. Especially considering I had thrown my crampons in my bag.
My anatomically fucked up knees even held out all day until we reached the summit of Cairn Gorm. Increased stretching and yoga has definitely been helping, but there is only so much you can do when they already do not articulate correctly.
I was glad I got the chance to get out of the city and walk however. Women’s Marches all over the world in solidarity against the general anti-woman feel of the new Trump Administration were being held on Saturday. While I had been unable to join the walk that day in Edinburgh, I focused my walk in the Cairn Gorms about moving forward and what steps I would need to take to continue to be a positive, supportive member of society.
Saturday night we returned to the house and Tuva, Erling, and I cooked dinner. We’ve been collaborating on the past few meets for Saturday dinner because 1) it makes cooking easier and faster and 2) we can split the supplies and actually make more food than we could have if we all made it separately. We decided to go all out and brought along diced lamb, feta, tomatoes, spinach, pita bread, and tzatziki for a feasting fitting of Athena.
The next day, my knees were a bit sore and Tuva had a cold so we planned a bit mellower day starting early again at 8 AM. I woke up again early so that I could have my tea in peace. Our walk was planned through the forests around Glenmore, through the reindeer reserve, past a loch, and then back to the ski center car park to get picked up. When we stopped at the loch most of us jumped in for a swim. I use the term ‘swimming’ rather loosely for when I got into the water it was more of a run in and scream. It reminded me a lot of my track and field days when I would have to take ice baths after practice.
And that was the weekend. It’s back to classes now, I had an Archaeology lecture, Medieval Europe tutorial, and a Roman Empire lecture today. Tomorrow I have a Medieval Europe lecture about the power of the papacy and another Roman Empire lecture.