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Visit Scotland

Our journey to the wild amphitheatre of the rocky Corrie Fee - with Kilted Yogi

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Our journey to the wild amphitheatre of the rocky Corrie Fee - with Kilted Yogi

This was my second visit this year to this wild amphitheatre of rocky landscape! It was amazing to see the changes a few months can do and I am hoping to show you both the winter wonderland and spring awakening. 

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This whole area was sculpted thousands of years ago by the power of ice and water which left behind corries, cliffs, moraines and a mesmerising river. Today, this beautiful area is a true haven for plants, birds and animals. Sadly, it is also an example of Britain’s lost wilderness areas as it was untouched by humans for centuries up until about 200 years ago.When sheep farming was introduced this area started attracting more deer which meant that trees and sensitive plants didn't stand the chance. The woodland virtually disappeared and grassland expanded. Deer population now needs to be controlled, wolfs are gone, and sheep roam the world. This makes me so incredibly sad as I really wish human hands were less invasive. 

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We decided on Corrie Fee as the weather was shaping beautifully but we had very little time. First stop was the Ranger’s Office. Did you know you can check in before you embark on your walk and check out afterwards for added safety? This way if you won't come back they will know by sundown and send a rescue party. 

Once you start walking the route crosses White Water and follows the bewitching Fee Burn into the nature reserve. It's a stunning site with the magnificent bowl shaped valley backed by a impressive waterfall. We came here when the waterfall wasn’t too dry just yet so the pictures are exceptional. As we started so early, the whole way up we were alone and this quiet, remote landscape was literally filled with roaring, tumbling noise of only water and sounds of the nature – here you can really understand why corrie in Gaelic also means ‘cauldron’.

Look at the difference between March and May…stunning !

Finlay managed to climb all the way to the top of the waterfall which you can watch on our video below. I stayed with the kids (aka pups)  keeping them safe and calm (and saving my fear of heights for another adventure)

One of my favourite drinks to take for a sweaty, exhausting hike is my chai latte (aka. toxic coloured broth), filled with nutritious fats and energy…if you eat to learn how I make it then jus follow this link. 

Now, the big thing about this trip is that we finally got back to our aero sessions! Finlay and I used to do it literally every day, creating those wee videos from the gym, parks, studios. Two years ago when my husband and I decided to open a wellbeing studio in Broughty Ferry our whole energy was literally poured into creating this space and we both got a little bit lost in the amount of work and challenges a new business brings. As I was entering into 2018 I made a pledge to myself to come back to all those things that used to fill up my heart and let go of those draining me. Acro was one of them. 

When was the last time when you had to trust the person that is literally holding and balancing you over the edge of a cliff! ⠀

Strength and independence have been the backbone to my identity since the first day I walked into nursery and was confused by all the tears of other kids pleading their mums not to leave them for just a few hours. The same thing happened at 18 when I became a fully independent young adult living alone. Yep - strong and independent - but I really had to be! How else would I conquer the world and make any sense of my life?! ⠀

And then the AcroYoga happened. In Acro the roles are reversed, the submissive role (flyer) can’t just go and exert the dominance. I’m literally folded in half and perched upon my partner’s feet. And need to listen really carefully! I’m a meter or more off the ground (on this video a hell a lot of more!) and I can easily imagine how much it would hurt to smack my face on the ground. 

It really did make me think why have I always felt like I need to be the strong and independent and why it’s sooo hard for me to just let go and trust. I have neglected AcroYoga for a few years and just recently begun peeling back my negative connotations from dependance and weakness. It takes time but it feel really liberating to just trust somebody else and let them hold you. 

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Subscribe to Finlay's You Tube channel for more videos to come!

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'It was a start of a journey for me...' - interview with Hannah

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'It was a start of a journey for me...' - interview with Hannah

On a snowy, stormy and extremely cold Friday afternoon we all arrived to Elie to discover that the house suffered a heating problem. Which meant NO HEATING on the coldest, most windy and awful day in Scottish history! We are talking horizontal rain with snow and all. We had a choice: stay and make the most of it or go. After a few organisational changes, purchasing an extensive amount of portable heathers (thank you B&Q Leven), Phil bringing more heaters from the studio and a delicious dinner at Ship Inn in Elie, we settled in for the night. 

Five incredible women remained with us through that experience and we have had one of the most transformative and exceptional retreats. The heating was restored the next day, but not until Debbie made soup from scratch in the oven (another blog just on that coming soon).

Today we cough up with Hannah who came to the retreat and this is what she thought of it.

What was your favourite thing about the retreat and why? 

I don’t know if could choose my favourite part as each and every minute was my favourite part for different reasons. Probably cosying up by the fire and doing the relaxing yoga before bed and having the best nights sleep I’d had in months. I also loved how amazing everyone was. We were all very different but all got on so well. We all felt so looked after and nurtured by both Daria and Debbie.

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What did you think about the accommodation?

The accommodation was gorgeous. Homely and cosy but modern and luxurious. It was the most lovely place to relax and I was surprised at how at home we all felt. The beds were so comfy too and it was so nice to have a relaxing bath.

Was yoga THIS scary?

None of it was scary. There were parts which were out of my comfort zone but in a positive way. I felt I was able to be encouraged in a positive way which made me feel I had achieved. It was so satisfying and empowering!

How did you feel?

I’ve never felt so relaxed. It brought lots of emotions to the surface and made me realise the issues within my life and what I wanted to change. It gave me a positive outlook and a way to make positive changes. I felt connected with everybody there and it didn’t matter about age, lifestyle or our individual reasons for going on the retreat in the first place.

What did you think of the food? How yummy was it?

The food was AMAZING! There was plenty of it and each dish was so tasty and filling. It was so nice to have such fresh, nourishing but yummy food which catered to everyone’s needs.

What did you learn? Was it an inspirational experience ?

I learnt a lot about myself, about my life, my job, my friendships, my family, my exercise routine, my eating and what I wanted to change as well as small changes to make to achieve this. It was VERY inspirational and the start of a journey for me. My friends, family and colleagues all noticed the difference in me after the retreat. This also made me LOVE yoga even though I was a beginner and didn’t think I had time for it before.

Retreats are not just holidays... they transform lives.

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Scotland... 'It's like the whole country is built just to fall in love with.'

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Scotland... 'It's like the whole country is built just to fall in love with.'

Today I have a wee treat for you guys, an interview with my pal Danielle who I used to work with and literally run the Fulbright Summer Institute back in the days. She is a Californian chick with a pen and a brilliant mind. Read her bio on the bottom of this page and follow her writings. 

Tell us a little bit about your stay in Scotland: why did you come here?

I came to Scotland to attend the University of Dundee in 2011, I lived in Dundee, Scotland until I graduated from uni in 2014. I've been back once since I graduated to visit the old stomping grounds. I was initially drawn to the culture and magicalness of the country, and now hold Scotland very near and dear to my heart. 

What was most striking thing you discovered when you moved here from California?

Trying to understand the thick accents when I first moved to Scotland was so difficult, I remember sitting in an english lecture and not being able to understand a word of what the professor was saying. I went and transferred out of the class right afterwards;-). After the initial shock, I quickly learned what "taking the piss" and "taking the mick" meant, and when I would visit California on break I would always get asked where I was from. 

Another pivotal moment was when my British friends taught me to make a perfect cup of tea. They used to recoil when I first made them tea, incredibly uneducated I would leave the tea bag in for way too long, drown it in milk and use completely the wrong spoon! The horrors;-)  

What made your heart melt? 

Scotland is a gorgeous country. The green hills and fields, crisp mornings, cold rough oceans and rugged landscapes. And that's not even mentioning the ancient castles scattered about the place. It's like the whole country is built just to fall in love with. 

What part of Scotland do you love the most and why?

I loved the people the most, but that's the next question. So I guess the next best thing would be the pub culture, how anytime is time for a pint. But more than the pint, it's just about connecting. After lectures, Friday nights, Sunday mornings, a sunny afternoon—there's always a reason to sit down with good company and enjoy a drink and a laugh. I loved slowing down and taking time to shoot the breeze. 

What did you think about the people? 

The Scottish people are so quick to crack a joke—at their own expense or someone else's—and to throw back a pint. It feels like the entire culture is built around sharing a pint. They are so friendly and welcoming and take SO much pride in their country, whilst simultaneously taking the absolute piss out of it (cue Trainspotting).

Your favourite whisky? :)

I might get in trouble for saying this, but I was really drawn to the Scottish gins over the whiskeys. While visiting different distilleries—especially Oban—was such a fun experience, I feel like the Scottish gins are really on the up and up. Especially the yummy gins from St. Andrews' Eden Mill. 

Are you coming back? 

While I don't have any definite plans at the moment for moving back to Scotland, I wouldn't say it's out of the picture. Scotland will always be a very special place and a second home to me. 


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Danielle Ames is a freelance writer who loves happy hour, getting sweaty, and a good sentence. 

A California native, she’s lived in Scotland, Italy, Thailand, and England, and wishes that list was much longer (and included Genovia).

Her accomplishments abroad include a string of bar jobs, and playing a key role in intoxicating the underaged over(fake)tanned Scottish population. 

She writes the blog Not Enough Middle Fingers

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Notes from the wonderland: Ben Vrackie adventures with the Kilted Yogi

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Notes from the wonderland: Ben Vrackie adventures with the Kilted Yogi

This week’s adventure was a fine walk up my favourite Ben Vrackie, the ‘speckled mountain`. The translation comes from a time when white quartz rocks were scattered across its slopes, which isn’t the case anymore but still reminds one of the most badass views I have ever seen.

It probably is one of the well known and much loved hills, not too high, not to tough and forms a scenic addition to the vibrant resort town of Pitlochry in Scottish Highlands.

It’s a Corbett as it’s just over 2,500ft high and measures 2,760ft. We literally had all four season in a space of 5-10minutes and at some point were almost swept off by wind, horizontal snow, rain and hailstorm. However, as you know in Scotland you just need to wait 5min and the weather changes! Waiting was worth it as when the sky cleared we could see all the way up Beinn a Ghlo range to the north and the sweep of Strathtay and Strathtummel to the west, including my other favourite Schiehallion. Below we could see the elegant Pitlochry with its stunning Atholl Palace Hotel, and further Glen Tilt and Blair Atholl.

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We started from a small car park at Moulin, close to the path taking us up. It can get quickly full at weekends and busy times of the year so be sure to arrive early. The whole walk takes normally between 3-4h but obviously we were longer as we were recording our vlog, and chasing Cooper who stole my bra! 

The path is very well maintained by Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust. I always like to check who maintains the paths and what group of rangers is assigned to the area we are in. I think their work is often unnoticed and unappreciated. So, next time when you decide to leave your trash behind, just stop for a deep breath and think about all those people carrying about our beautiful landscapes! Also, as a side note - do you know how long it takes a banana skin to decompose? Google it! While you are waiting for those bananas to break down, you would have enough time to apply and receive a passport! Impressive, right? The skin can be potentially toxic to some animals that aren’t accustomed to those tropical fruits so take it back with you.

Back to hillwalking tho, once you start your hike up, just trust the path! It’s very well-constructed and offers a delightful walk across the heather moorland. If you are early enough you may spot red deer as well as shy mountain hare and lots of wild mice (Cooper’s favourite to chase!). 

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If you are going up, make sure your are dressed for the weather! ( note that kilt is optional lol) Scottish hills may be tiny in comparison to the Alpes but should never be underestimated, people die here every year (a bit of light and positive comment always helps, eh?). You can see from the video how quickly the weather changed from a really sunny and warm day to storm and vice versa. On your way to Pitlochry you will pass Perth and a splendid and well equipped outdoor adventure store - Tiso. This is definitely a good stop if you haven’t got everything you need.

You always need a map, compass and it’s really good to take with you a copy of the iternary from Walk Highland’s webpage, it’s very informative and gives you all the info you need.

In the video I mention simple energy balls that Debbie and I make at our wellbeing retreats. I will post the recipe shortly. 

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Finally, I have been thinking about doing those super liberating, shameless taps aff pictures forever now. I will explain you my reason in another blog. HOVEWER, the little I knew that it’s never going to be so easy with a sighthound present on the scene! Just watch it yourself !

make sure you subscribe to Finlay’s channel as this is where all the future blogs are going to be and you don’t want to miss more opportunities to laugh. 

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