Sunday, 29 November 2009

In which I attempt to visit the Queen's sauna...

Well it was a really unpleasant morning here in Aberdeen, cold, dark, truly dreich. I was overdue a proper Sunday outing, and the weatherman on the radio said that conditions were better inland. 

So I persuaded Gail to drive us in the Mini all the way up Deeside. What a nice journey that is. You should try it some time. 

We stopped a few miles short of Braemar and parked in the Invercauld car park. Luckily, the machine which demands £2.50 for parking in the middle of nowhere wasn't working (remember, I am an Aberdonian....) Anyway, I ran straight down the path to the river.  After more than an hour in the car, I was ready to lift my leg and fertilize some heather.
That's the River Dee and the old Invercauld Bridge in background. I know some readers of this blog are more into history than me, so I've included a photo of the sign telling you all about the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion, Fort George and why the bridge was built. Biggify the picture if you're interested.

We crossed the bridge and entered the Balmoral Estate (which belongs to the Queen). I then realized why Gail had made me wear my red coat. 

We wouldn't want a trigger happy Prince Philip to mistake me for a stag, now would we? 

After a mile or so walking through Ballochbuie Forest - a beautiful stretch of native Caledonian woodland at the western end of the huge Estate, well away from Balmoral Castle and all the tourists - we came to a secluded and picturesque spot, and found this wooden lodge. 

Gail says it was a gift to our Queen from the King of Norway, and it contains a sauna. I'm not sure I believe this (people spout all sorts of rubbish at times, don't they?) I tried to locate the entrance, to check it out for myself. I wonder if the Queen wears her crown when sitting in her sauna? Maybe I'd find out! 


But no, it was all locked and boarded up. What a disappointment! So I just had to content myself with admiring the views outside. By then it was snowing a little so we hurried back to the car and I am going to write and complain to that weatherman. 


Rocky Creek Scotties and Rocky Creek Ramblings said...

You look fetching it that red coat!!

Mom is always worried that some deer hunter will mistake Java for a deer so during deer season he doesn't go out of the yard.

Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Java

Martha said...

Hi Hamish, what an interesting trip you had.
Thank dogness you did wear your red coat - it would have been dreadful for anyone to mistake you for a deer!!!
We can understand that the sauna wasn't open - clearly Gail has failed in her duties and has not alerted HRH that you intend to pay a visit.
Had this happened everything would have been ready for you.
We thought you looked somewhat disappointed not to find a way in!
We think the Queen probably does wear her crown in the sauna - well we can imagine it anyway.
Given she is such a corgi fan we reckon she would have also have loved you and you could have jumped right in!!
Thanks for sharing your trip - we must get it over that way one day.
love and kisses
Martha & Bailey xxx

Eric said...

Och Aye Hamish my man. I've been catching up on visiting. It's wagging to see you again. Finding you in fine fettle and looking so regal in your red coat. Gail, I would venture to say, has something of a Victor outlook herself not letting you keep her hat. When it suited you so well and kept your ears warm. Sport a beret for a few days Hamish and she'll soon be falling over herself to buy you a nice warm Tam o Shanter.

Such a shame the Queen wasn't in her shed to welcome you in though might of been a bit parky to go ge your coat off. I've heard she never takes her crown off. (Mom says if she had that many sparklers she wouldn't either) I bet she would of given you a drop or two of the hard stuff to keep you warm too.

Have a good week Hamish.Wiry wags n kisses Eric xxx

Two French Bulldogs said...

What a neat place. Water makes us want to peepee too.
Benny & Lily

Stella said...

Just think, Hamish, you might have had a sauna with the Q of E! Next time you go, and she is at Balmoral, you must let her know you are coming. Oh, and please say hello for me. Tell her we liked her movie!


Jake of Florida said...

Gorgeous views.

And thanks for the moral support about our always being deprived of yummy human food -- but Cruella has her good side too and she does make up for the deprivation with soft talk and the scritchiest of scritches.

Wirey woofs,

Jake and Just Harry

Bella and Ollie said...

Hamish, you look very dashing in your red coat and you look like you need it to keep warm too.
Do you think the Queen brings her corgis with her when she visits the royal sauna ?
Love from Bella.

ScrapsofMe said...

Hi Hamish! I hear you have a good supply of whiskey on hand and thought I'd drop by for a wee dram. Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker, I always say. My peeps stayed near there at Blairgowrie on holiday once. Well, actually at Rattray. Lovely walkie you had with Gail. I must say, you look very fetching in your red jacket. The cap would have been the perfect accessory.

Martha said...

Hi Hamish, we just came by to tell you your comment about Martha was very funny!
We would never leave her out in the cold but it used to be we couldn't get her in the house!
Now, when Bailey snuggles in front of the fire, she sits in the freezing conservatory!
Martha is not a snuggler!
Bailey is always disgruntled when we turn the fire off - hence the blanket!!!
Possibly because Martha had never lived in a house she hasn't taken so well to central heating.
Daft dog!