The last time I visited my friends in Scotland they offered to take us up the mountain to feed the reindeer. Because we had already gone snowboarding (and I was a little scared to spend too much, too soon), I said I’d do it the next time. So this time I was really excited to visit the reindeer as, obviously, we don’t get them in South Africa!
We visited the reindeer center just a few minutes drive outside of Aviemore. They have a few curios for sale and a few reindeer artifacts which were nice to see.
Our guide took us on a short walk into the Cairngorm mountains. It was surprising that we managed to get so high up without much effort. We crossed a mountain brook, passed crazy cool red mushrooms (just like you see in the cartoons growing up) and took a few mountain stone steps in the Scottish ‘fynbos’ (not sure what it’s really called!).
We we reached the summit, we paused for a moment for our guide to teach us about reindeer. They were reintroduced back to Scotland by a Danish reindeer breeder who believed the environment would be perfect for them. There are no predators so their breeding is closely monitored and controlled. Reindeer also click (kinda what my knees do when I stand up these days :O ) and this is so is that the can hear each other in a snowstorm and keep together. How cool! Click I’ll keep that excuse for myself 😉
Our guide gave us some treats for them and they came running all the way down the mountain side to get the goodies.
I had touched their coat and it was really thick. Unfortunately they didn’t still for very long so I couldn’t get a good smothering pet in, but I touched them as much as I could!
They don’t have any front teeth so there was no risk in getting munched while feeding them. I had to dodge the odd horn coming my way though! Reindeer are rather short which I didn’t expect; I thought they’d be giant creatures! The guide said the babies are really cute and she was right. They look just like the stuffed toy versions and are ADORABLE!
Eventually we made our way back down the hill and I was sorry to say goodbye to the reindeer. It was absolutely brilliant seeing them up close, definitely something ticked off my bucket list. Feeding reindeer on a hill top in Scotland is COOL! I highly recommend you try it if you ever find yourself up here.
After reindeer visiting we went to the Cairngorm hotel for dinner. I had my favourite, steak and ale pie, and met Spud the Piper on my way out. He used to feature on Mark Gilman’s 5FM radio show back in the day! He was a funny guy!
On the way home we stopped off at the Ski-doo pub – a snowboarding/skateboarding themed bar. It was great to check out the vibe even though it was Monday night and quite mellow. We walked home in the dead quiet Aviemore air for a good night’s rest.
RANDOM SCOTTISH THING 3:
You can buy frozen Yorkshire puddings!