FUN-travel: Islay, Scotland – Fèis Ìle

June 8, 2017 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Islay, Scotland – Fèis Ìle 

  • Feis Ile = The Islay Festival of Music and Malt…

…and our whole reason…

…for coming to the UK!

  • Today is Bunnahabhain Distillery Festival Day

My Wee Little Drams

  • 11 am – Manager & Senior Blenders Dram Tasting
  • 4 pm – Wee little nap time

Robert Graham 1874

…Tasting of 7…

…“Old, Rare and interesting Islay Drams”…

…some still available…

…some gone but not forgotten…

…and some that might be very unique indeed.

FUN-factWhisky tasting is a whole lot like wine tasting…

…swirl, smell, sip, swallow.

  • And how does it taste? …soft & subtle…or strong?… smoky, spicy, salty, sweet?

More FF – My favorites today are the ones…

…finished in the sherry & red wine casks…

…takes the edge off and more smooth.

FUN-travel: Scotland – Glasgow to Isle of Skye to Edinburgh

October 6, 2011 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Scotland – Glasgow to Isle of Skye to Edinburgh 

Day 18 – Saturday, October 1 – Glasgow to Isle of Skye – rain but still not cold, low 60’s – Depart 10 am

Eilean Donan Castle

Hertz pickup – hoping for smaller car – booked mid size automatic & get VW station wagon (better than the Renault) – take off w/pouring rain

  • 1st stop – Bonnie Braes – bad coffee & scone (half way up Loch Lomand – no other options)
  • 2nd stop – Fort Williams – good cappuccino & grocery store for snacks & drinks
  • 3rd stop – Eilean Donan Castle – just too sweet! & Scotland’s most photogenic countryside castle
  • Rain has persisted much of the day w/low thick clouds & fog swallowing the mountain tops
  • 4th stop – town of Portree, Isle of Skye 5:45 pm – Almondbank Guest House – 72 lbs – Effie the owner suggests the Rosedale Hotel restaurant for dinner – drive 1.5 miles to cute harbor town of colorful store fronts & boats
  • FUN-food – dozen Loch Harport oysters w/tomato chili salsa, grilled goats cheese w/sun blushed tomato & rocket salad, steamed Arasaig mussels in white wine, garlic, parsley, cream – these could be the best we’ve had so far!

Portree Harbor

Day 19 – Sunday, October 2 – Isle of Skye to Edinburgh – clouds w/blue sky in west – sprinkles but still not cold, low 60’s – Depart 9:30 am

  • Actually got up early enough to experience exquisite dawn over the mountains and harbor!

Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

  • Depart 9:30 for narrow, twisty (more single lane roads) of Trotternish Peninsula – stark vistas of  jagged rock formation
  • 1st stop – 11:30 – latte/cappuccino stop in Broadford
  • 2nd stop – 1:00 Loch Ness Urquhart Castle – too cheap to actually pay to go in so take photos from road
  • 3rd stop – 2:00 Inverness for snack & gas – horror strikes when on way back to car realize you have to pay to park at the grocery store! no ticket thank god!
  • Arrive Edinburgh 5:45 (takes 1 hr to find Dalmahoy Country Club) using the last of Marriott points – 5 days, 100,000 pts and free!
  • FUN-food – pretty much captive here but Club House food is decent – salad of rocket, crumbled goat cheese, apples, toasted macadamia nuts – Murgh Makhani –  butter chicken w/nan bread, chutney & rice (big Indian population here too)

Rare Blue Butt Sheep

Myth – you always get accurate directions on Google maps (or any internet provider)
FUN-damental truth – NO! & the reason is many old estates & castles have no real address & you’re better off getting directions directly from them

FUN-travel: Scotland – Glasgow – 3 days

October 5, 2011 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Scotland – Glasgow – 3 days 

Day 15 – Wednesday, September 28 – Dublin, Ireland to Glasgow, Scotland – blue skies & full on sunshine – 60’s -unseasonably warm!

Sunny Loch Lomand

  • Arrive 5:20 – take taxi to Acorn Hotel – very cute boutique hotel on edge of city center
  • Suppose to be king bed & told they only have singles & doubles – could have sworn I paid more for that
  • FUN-food – Charlie @ front desk suggests The Sisters (traditional Scottish) – Islay Island Scallops w/black pudding, side salad of various greens, onions, tomatoes, 10 hr slow roasted Scottish beef on mashed potatoes & cream sauce – VG

Day 16 -Thursday, September 29 – Glasgow – partly blue skies – still unseasonably warm! low 60’s

  • Check reservation on laptop & shows Executive King Room – head to front desk & Charlie didn’t realize the Exec room had a bigger bed
  • Take nice walk to city center (30 minutes)
  • 1st stop – cobbler to see if shoes that died can be fixed – NOT!
  • 2nd stop – BUY UK ROAD ATLAS! w/detailed maps

3rd stop – TI (Tourist Information) – Plan for tomorrow – oh what to do! –  take train to Loch Lomand? go malt whiskey tasting?
4th stop – Starbucks Cappuccino
5thstop – hotel to change to big room we paid for – SWEET & much nicer – bigger bed & bathroom

Auchentoshan Distillery

FUN-lunch – Budda Restaurant – see nachos on menu – feel a hankering for ” home food” – hot & spicy w/jalapenos, meat chili, & sour cream – not bad
take nap
FUN-food – Mother’s India – (Glasgow has a huge Indian population & comfort food for us on the road) when asked about Indian food Charlie suggested – order 3 sides – yellow lentils w/chili’s, baked cauliflower & potato w/spices, & sautéed spinach & mustard greens – one entree of lamb in red curry w/rice & garlic nan bread – OMG we have enough food to feed a family of 5! & the least expensive meal we’ve had – everything VG!

Day 17 -Friday, September 30 – Glasgow – partly blue skies /scattered sprinkles – still unseasonably warm! YEAH

Depart 10:30 for train station – 50 minute train ride
1st stop – Balloch & Loch Lomand – nice stroll along lake – have picnic of leftovers  from last night – continue walk to Balloch Castle & Gardens – back to train

FUN Fudge

2nd stop – Dalmuir for Auchentoshan Distillery – only triple distilled single malt Scotch – directions read “15 minute walk” takes an hour (should have gotten off at Kilpatrick but doesn’t say that because more trains go to Dalmuir) go figure! – make the last tour 4:00 & get sample – we like Jameson better – take cab to train station
3rd stop – McPhabb’s pub – try Scottish lager
FUN-food – pouring rain, no umbrella – so lunch leftovers, peanuts, chips & some wine of course in our room