"Brave Caledonia dear are thy mountains, I sigh for the valley o' dark Lochnagar".
I've lost count of the times I've been to Lochnagar but I'll never tire of it. There's a reason why so many songs and poems have been sung about the mountain and loch, it's a mysterious place with a stunning landscape that looks different each time I visit.
Prince Charles tells a story of a wee old man with hairy knees living in a cave by the loch and I can almost believe it. I've been there on days with no wind or people and the only noise you pick up is a grouse or ptarmigan. I could imagine the wee old man fishing on by the loch when I headed home!
I've also been there on days like this week when the wind roars through the col. On days like that there’s not much waiting about admiring views down to the loch, the wind saps the temperature from you. There’s plenty of boulders to shelter behind though, which I did whilst I ate my lunch.
Lochnagar hosts some of the rarest wildflowers in Scotland, the soil being slightly richer than that of the neighbouring Cairngorms. The black face of the corrie is not the true colour, when the snow clears you can see fresh rock fall and the true pinkish rock, lichen growing for possibly thousands of years give the black appearance, adding to the dark Lochnagar.
I’ll be visiting Lochnagar on many occasions next year, join me and I can tell you even more about this magical place.