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Sunday, 3 August 2014

Today's Walk - Pitlochry Dam

The Hydro-electric Dam, a vast block of post-war concrete, is not Pitlochry's best feature, not by a long chalk, yet it seems to feature in lots of photos and postcards of the town.  I grew up in Pitlochry, and the Dam was so familiar that it was one of those things that you don't really see until you spend some time away and return with fresh eyes.  As children we often used to walk 'round' it, as we put it, in a three or four mile circuit on a Sunday.  Sometimes we'd even do it twice. There wasn't much else to do in the town in those days, to be honest.  We must have been fit as fiddles!    I think that in a few years' time - or perhaps sooner - it will be seen as an architectural antique.  Already it has that feel to it.  It almost looks art deco, although it is very much a post-Second World War construction.   There are pleasant views from the top, and lovely walks along the shores of Loch Faskally, an artificial loch which was created when the Dam was built.
I've walked 'round' the Dam hundreds if not thousands of times, and I've yet to see a fish in the viewing chamber into the salmon ladder.  They are there though, lots of them, and you often see them jump.  I've also seen otters on occasion.
Just below the Dam is the Theatre.  I remember the old Theatre, which was in a tented structure in a leafy part of the town, with tables and umbrellas outside in the summer.  The new Theatre is really nice as well,  I was quite prepared to hate it but I really do like it.  I say 'new', but it's been in its present location for about twenty years.  I saw many plays in the 'old' theatre, but I've yet to see one in the 'new' building.  I did however have one of my stories performed in the bar by one of the actors a few years ago, as one of their 'Fearie Tales' winners during their Winter Festival, and I went over to watch.  Sadly I lost that story when my old computer packed in, else I'd publish it on the blog.
On this occasion I parked at the Recreation Ground (free) and walked to the Dam via the suspension bridge and the Theatre.  Once on the other side of the Dam I walked over to a small bay on Loch Faskally which we used to know as the Lady's Dell, and where we used to swim (now that's forbidden, and probably rightly so. The loch slopes downwards very fast.)  I then walked up to the Putting Green, and back down the road to the Dam and then down the near side of the river to the car park.  Just a short walk, unfortunately, as I'm afraid I'm still suffering with a sore foot.
Looking south down the River Tummel from the top of the Dam

Loch Faskally from the Dam

The Dam from Port na Craig suspension bridge
The Theatre 

Looking across the Tummel to Ben y Vrackie, from the Theatre

Approaching Pitlochry via Kirkmichael and the Moulin Moors

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