Thursday, July 7 - Posted by Terri Roberts
And we’re off….
We all met up in Edinburgh last night after a couple of red eyes across the pond.
It’s a spectacular city, complete with bagpipers on virtually every corner (including a particularly talented fellow doing a killer version of Thunderstuck), statues, monuments, ancient churches, Braveheart impersonators screaming ‘Freedom’ and of course, one pretty incredible castle.
I had the really tough assignment of wandering the historic streets all day as Dale and Michele made their way from Calgary. I know, poor me.
We finally met up around 10 pm and headed out to grab some food. Little did we know, Scots eat early. Like, really early. But, we found a great pizzeria and tucked in. It wasn’t exactly haggis but it hit the spot. Then, since no one had slept since Canada, we called it a night to rest up for the long journey north to nessie in the am.
Friday, July 8 - Posted by Terri Roberts
After some seriously skilled left-side-of-the-road navigation courtesy of Michele (and one mean little GPS) we made our way out of Edinburgh and headed north to Loch Ness.
We stopped in Kinross for lunch and couldn’t help but notice the throngs of twenty something girls in short shorts and long rubber boots. I mean, it is Scotland and everything, but this was ridiculous. The folks at the Salutations Inn filled us in that T in the Park (massive festival) was starting that day on an old airstrip nearby, hence the odd getups. After a double carb lunch of mac and cheese AND chips, we left the rubber boots behind and started off again.
Of course, the best part of any road trip is the stops. And the malt whiskey distillery in Dalwhinnie was a sweet one. Dale and I had a sampler of four whiskeys (word to the wise: in Scotland, it’s not scotch, it’s whiskey) ranging from ‘screwed up face’ to ‘damn that was delicious’. We’d later learn that the pitcher of water was for diluting the whiskey to bring out the different flavours, not a chaser.
Another 800 roundabouts later (Michele was as cool as a cucumber), we made it to Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness. It’s scenic, it’s quiet, and it’s all about two things: whisky and Nessie. In fact our hotel gift shop has nothing but Nessie: t-shirts, stuffed animals (an entire wall), tea towels, key chains, postcards. Oh, and a nice selection of kilts. My money is that Dale will be sporting one by the end of the week.
We stopped into the fantastic Fiddler’s Pub for dinner and met owner and resident whisky expert Jon Beach. He chose a selection of singles malts for us to try based on what he thought we’d like. Eeirly, he was bang on. We all chowed down on Michele’s favorite dessert of Pavlova, a dreamy concoction of fluffiness and unidentifiable Scottish fruit, and sipped our whiskey like experts. Meaning, we knew what to do with the water.
We’re back at our hotel now searching desperately for Wi Fi. Though the hotel assured us it was available, the fine print is that it’s only available in the bar. Which is now closed. I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be blogging at Fiddler’s tomorrow night. Yeah, tough job indeed.