We slept in *a little* this morning. Jer had to dress and move our car, which was in a no parking zone effective starting at 8am. We showered and dressed and went downstairs for our first Scottish breakfasts. Jer went traditional all the way: blood pudding, sausages, beans, fried egg (sunny side up), broiled tomato, toast and two rashers of bacon. I opted for the vegetarian version, which had veggie sausage and potato cakes instead of bacon. We checked out of our hotel, loaded up the car and wandered a little around Portree. The town is quaint and we were glad to have happened upon it the night before.
Since we’d gone all the way to the Isle of Skye, we decided to visit a castle further up north: Dunvegan, which was the home of the McClouds. The castle was very nice and and the tour was quite educational. The views outside were outstanding, the gardens beautiful. After that, we visited the only distillery on the island, Talisker. The tour was very good, and filled in the gaps left after the Glenfiddich tour. Talisker is considered part of the highlands, though they use peat to dry their malt so
the flavor of the final product is very smoky.
We decided to take the bridge back to the mainland. Our next destination was the castle of Eilean Donan. This castle will be familiar to anyone who remembers the first Highlander movie. When we arrived, two little boys in traditional dress were playing their bagpipes. This really set the mood and made the place feel properly Scottish. The castle is built on the ruins of past castles and is less than 100 years old. The tour of the interior was good. Jer and I took lots of photos around the perimeter before trotting to the car.
It was getting late in the day and we hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast. We programmed the GPS, which wanted to take us in the opposite direction to a mystery restaurant that was miles and miles away from the village nearest the castle. After a twenty minute diversion to nowhere, Jer and I decided to turn around and try the village. We were in that odd window of time that is too late for lunch but hours away from dinner, so the only place open was a pub displaying a sign that it
We stopped at a nice old cemetary on the Isle of Skye
was not serving food. In our desperation—and under the influence of hunger pangs—we returned to the coffee shop at the castle. This facility was nearly closed, too, but we managed to squeeze in and grab a couple of sandwiches and chips bags for a late lunch.
We weren’t sure of where else to go but knew we needed to find a place to sleep for the night. Jer settled on Fort Augustus on Loch Ness. We programmed Dorcas, our GPS, and were on our way. After securing a room for the night at a B&B, we wandered down and explored their locks which empty into Loch Ness. We walked past the boats that were moored for the night and visited the Loch. No Nessie sightings. After that, we walked back up to a pub and had some dinner. The place was crammed with both tourists and locals and the atmosphere was warm and cozy.
It was pretty early when we left the pub and returned to our room. We grabbed a couple of Guinness and took them to our room. I wrote out some postcards, caught up on journal entries, and Jer watched Britain’s Got Talent and then
Barrel Room at Talisker Distillery
The portion that evaporates out of the barrels (2% per year) permeates in the air and is fondly referred to as the "Angel's Share."
Eurovision. Awesomely bad television programming on both accounts. I couldn’t sleep and stayed up far far too late.
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