Announcing: Aurora 2012!

According to the clever guys at NASA, we are currently experiencing a peak in an 11-year sunspot cycle, which among other things will bring more auroras than has been seen in a long time. Apparently this Solar Max is due in the 2012/2013 northern hemisphere winter period. And so… Gareth and I are heading over […]

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

It’s that time of the year again when people tend to sit back and ponder the inevitable passing of time, where we wonder where 2015 went in such a hurry and why we never got the time to do anything we had planned for the year. Inevitably, we still make lists about things we want […]

Inverness, the River Ness and Loch Ness

Before our trip to the Finnish arctic circle, Inverness was the most northerly point Gareth and I had ever been to. Since we were in the region again and had fond memories of our first visit, we decided to take a day trip from our resort in the Cairngorms National Park to this iconic highland city. Unfortunately, […]

Animal Encounters at the Highland Wildlife Park

As South Africans, we can sometimes be excused for thinking we have a monopoly on animals and game watching. After all, the Kruger National Park is world-famous and synonymous with the Big Five. In our preoccupation with lions, rhinos, elephants and other interesting denizens of the bushveld, we tend to forget that the world has […]

Up and Down a Mountain

Clack-clack-clack! As the funicular climbs steadily up the mountainside, I count the number of tall mountains I have visited during my travels: Mont Blanc (4,810m) in France was my favourite and the highest I’ve ever been, but there have also been the Eiger (3,970m) and the Männlichen (2,343m) in Switzerland, Sass Songher (2,625m) in Italy […]

Hogmanay Fireworks!

As 2013 draws to a close, I’m reminded of how we started this year. Gareth and I were in Scotland at the time and, like everyone else in the region, we had made our way to the Cairngorms Hotel in Aviemore for what is locally known as Hogmanay. Our breath steamed in the frigid air, […]

Exploring Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park

Clouds rolling over a moody, windswept countryside. Green and yellow grass waving in the wind, leading to red and black heather covering undulating hills topped by snow. Woolly sheep or inquisitive shaggy-coated cows watching us from behind ancient stone walls. And above all, a sky that quickened from clear blue, to ominously grey, to orange […]

Our Cabin in the Woods

The last week of our holiday was spent at the MacDonald Lochanhully Woodland Club situated inside the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland. We chose this resort because it was the most northern place in the UK where we could find accommodation and we thought we may have another chance at glimpsing the aurora. The week […]

Wandering in Windermere

England’s Lake District is well-known for its beautiful countryside scenery. This is where the Romantic poet Wordsworth wandered lonely as a cloud and where Beatrix Potter dreamed up stories that still delight children of all ages. And it’s also where Gareth and I decided to break our journey from Cardiff in Wales to Aviemore in […]

A Good Day in Cardiff

We spent Christmas 2012 in Caerphilly, visiting Gareth’s family who we only get to see once every two years or so. Gareth’s brother wanted some male bonding time and, having just recovered from a nearly debilitating flu picked up in a Finnish sauna, I decided to spend the day on my own wandering the streets […]