Also on tour with the SCO Strings last week, Aisling O'Dea, SCO First Violin, tells us what she got up to offstage. She writes...
Following our first concert of the Strings Highland Tour 2012 in the pretty village of Killin, a few of us decided to visit what's reputed to be Europe's oldest living thing: the Yew Tree at Fortingall. The following morning, en route to our next port of call in Fortrose, Donnie Gillan, Carole Howat, Amira Bedrush-McDonald, Tammo Scheulke, Zoë Westwood, our wonderful Guest Director Florian Donderer and I popped by.
|"Up ahead stands Fortingall's oldest resident a 5000 year old yew tree."|
|The tree itself.|
Immediately after our second concert in Fortrose, Donnie Gillan, our Guest Director Florian Donderer and I decided to make our way to Ullapool that evening, as plans for a long walk the following day had been brewing for quite some time. On arrival at the Ceilidh Place and after a much-deserved half pint (or two) of the 'genius black stuff' we were all set for the following morning. Lorna McLaren not being with us for this tour, it was time for budding mountain-walking assistant Donnie Gillan to step into her shoes (or should I say boots!) and, despite the not so promising weather, off to the Corbet Cul Beag we went.
|Stac Pollaidh - no not that one this time - maybe next year!||At the summit of Corbet Cul Beag... Okay, not much of a view - but quite a different experience and we made it!|
There were stunning views on our way to the top, but we knew we would be walking into that big cloud pretty soon! I'd never been in a cloud before, but can now say it's quite nice in a strange way...
After a little lunch break it was out with the map and compass again to decide how we were going to get down.
|Donnie and Florian studying our route.|
Halfway down Cul Beag the sun comes out... Just goes to show a mountain never looks the same twice.
On arrival back into Ullapool a much needed power-nap was required before getting ready for the evening's concert at the Village Hall, the final stop in this year's SCO Strings Tour. All that exercise and fresh air made for a wonderful performance and even 'the de'il amongst the tailors' made an appearance in his own composed cadenza.
On the way home back to Edinburgh the following morning, Donnie, Florian and I decided to stop off at the beautiful Rogie Falls just west of Strathpeffer, where not only can one admire the stunning waterfall but also learn all about life as a salmon!
© Photographs by Aisling O'Dea.