Friday, 11 July 2014

Small but Perfectly Formed

River Tummel

    The sonic boom of jet-aircraft flying overhead, reverberates along the valley as they leave their Scottish base.


  The attention of the tourists walking along the main road, is momentarily interrupted, as  they raise their eyes towards the blue summer sky, to try and identify what's causing this unexpected noise.  They only catch a fleeting glance of the two Royal Air Force crafts passing overhead, before they can once again immerse themselves in the picture perfect surroundings and  absorb the Victorian beauty that Pitlochry has to offer.

    Outside the library the wicker female golfer swings her club amid the pretty flower bed, only one of the beautiful displays that fill this town in the Highlands.

Suspension footbridge

   Stopping at a sign-post, I choose to follow the sign that leads me to Port-Na-Crag. At the end of the steep path I step onto the suspension footbridge that replaced the ferry in 1913, as a means to cross the River Tummel. However, the gentle swaying makes me feel rather uneasy and I decide against carrying on. The flowing water below adds to my insecurity and I only want to be suspended mid-air long enough to take a couple of panoramic photographs.

View from dam, back towards footbridge

    Upstream from the bridge I could see the dam and hydro power station, which is my next stop. Built in post World War ll , it was feared that this man made water collection point would hamper the journey of the thousands of fresh-water salmon who travel this course each year to breed.

Fish ladder

    But, taking this wonderful feat of nature into consideration, the design incorporates a fish ladder, which allows them to leap onward, as they have always done.

Pitlochry Railway Station

    Taking a shortcut back from the dam through the railway station, I pause on the non-swaying footbridge to take a few more snaps. Looking around from this unlikely vantage point, I wondered as to how much the local area had changed since the railway first brought visitors, including Queen Victoria here 150 years ago.

     Things will have altered for sure, however when the passengers alight now they too will be delighted by  the town that has remained small but perfectly formed.

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