'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Monday, August 21, 2006

Funicu-La Funico-No

There's something deeply deeply wrong about the Cairngorm Funicular Railway that takes eager tourists up the side of Britain's 6th highest mountain, to a point about 120 metres beneath the summit. It's not just that it's an environmental disaster or an offence against good taste - the transport caff naffness of the Ptarmigan Restaurant where old Bee-Gees hits play non-stop is deliciously retro in its own very special way. It's the sheer effrontery by which its operators present it as having something to contribute to the management of the environment, including a voluntary £1 'carbon deficit' donation solicited from anyone driving their car up to the lower station.
Clearly the most desirable environmental consequence would have been if the operators had chosen not to build it in the first place. Though if just one of the obese hordes of T-shirt clad trippers are inspired to walk back up in designer Goretex the next time, I suppose it might be possible to claim the whole thing was worthwhile. On the other hand . . .


Blogger Arthur Clewley said...

I have to agree that a project that treats walkers as an environmental threat whilst presenting blasting a railway up the mountain to make a scar that will last forever then building a cafe on top as a major contribution to conservation is a bit off. Every construction project seems to save the enviroment nowadays, widening the A66 is couched in eco-speke

the cairngorm centre is the classic 'cut down all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum' philosphy, make a wild place accessible and understandable by making it not wild anymore by burying it under an interpretation centre.


22/8/06 12:22 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

They do seem to have taken a very Vietnam-era approach to the problem - "the environment's so important we had to destroy it in order to save it . . ."

23/8/06 12:59 pm  
Anonymous Eleanor said...

All of these places make me crazy. On the other hand, the let's protect it, put up a fence, and not every let anyone in makes me just as nuts!

23/8/06 9:15 pm  
Anonymous Franklin said...

I can’t help but notice, regarding this polemic on the Cairngorm Funicular Railway, that perhaps there might be some relationship to the medical term funiculitis:

Funiculitis: inflammation of a funiculus (especially an inflammation of the spermatic cord)

Surely there is some deep grammar at work here? (Chomskyesque kind of stuff, I mean.)

24/8/06 9:12 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Franklin, if you're suggesting that the Cairngorm Funicular is simultaneously a bit of a pain & the unwanted product of a bunch of tossers, I'm sure that Mr Chimpsky could only concur . . .

26/8/06 11:55 am  
Anonymous Phred said...


My love of music is wide and deep and the Brothers Gibb are among my many favorite Aussies along with Slim Dusty and Arthur Blanch.

I won't join in on the Funicular dispute but stop making fun of the Bee Gees.


26/8/06 6:19 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Phred - I'm seeing you in the white spandex, gold medallion, back-combed hair, fake tan & chest wig singing 'Night Fever' . . . (Personally, I preferred their 60s material . . .)

4/9/06 8:43 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home