Late last night, after 3 train rides, Eric and I got back into the SW16. Our 6 days in Scotland went by way too quickly and I think we’re both in agreement that a return trip is due in the near future. For me the highlight was going to the Isle of Islay (pronounced eye-la) in the inner Hebrides. The weather was for the most part pleasant with only a few hours of heavy rain showers. We stayed on the south coast of Islay in Port Ellen, where three whisky distilleries are. These three, Laphroaig probably being the best known, are world renouned for their peat taste. And for me, they are renowned for me not being interested in drinking any of them ever again. The peat taste is over powering and makes me think I’ve just stuck my head in a camp fire and attempted to chew on the smoke. Try it for yourself. We went on a tour of the Laphroaig distillery, which was very interesting as I’ve never known about the distillation process. And no better place than Laphroaig which even goes as far as making their own malted barley. In total Islay has 7 distilleries. If you like scotch, I don’t believe you
can go anywhere better than Islay. And if you’re not into scotch (like Eric and I), I think Islay is still an amazing place to journey to and explore. It’s a quick 2 hour and 15 minute ferry ride from the Kennacraig. And only slightly nauseating on rough seas.
Our first four days we got to feast on full Scottish breakfast. If you haven’t yet experienced a “full breakfast” over here, well I think you’re missing out. I couldn’t get enough of it and cleaned my plat of all the food every morning. Except for the mushrooms, which Eric gladly took off my plate. Mary, our b&b host while on Islay, was satisfied with my ability to put away the food. Eric left food on his plate both days (she even gave him one less egg the 2nd day!) and the disappoinment given off by Mary was palpable by every one in the room. I
think next time I stay at that b&b, I’ll be sure to not associate myself with anyone who is unable to complete the breakfast challenge.
After getting as much as we could in our limited time in Islay, we headed back to the Highlands. This included a second stop at a pub in Inverary, which was a favorite of both of us. They had the best salmon baguettes ever, chocked full of salmon and cream cheese on a soft and delicious baguette. Plus they had Fyne Ales on tap. We stumbled upon Fyne Ales on our way to Islay and stopped in and sampled their beers. We left with 4 bottles of the stuff, so obviously we were both impressed. I’m hoping I can get some of it down here in London.
We had a long day of driving where we drove all the way to Edinburgh. I knew Eric would love the city and
convinced him that we should spend our last two nights in the city. I have been to Edinburgh with Matt about 5 years ago and had a lovely time. He was happy I suggested it as I think he’s fallen head over heels in love with the place. Who can blame him as it’s a beautiful city, especially at night. We did the tour of the castle and did a ghost and ghouls night tour of the city since it was Halloween. Both were great. We found a couple of nice pubs as well and I look forward to going back to the city soon as well.
Our last day was a little crazy as we needed to take a pilgrimage up to St. Andrews so Eric could see the Old Course at St. Andrews (that’s golf for you non-golf people). It was a really nice day and good to be on the East coast. We walked around the golf course for a while and then into the city for a bit. The castle was closed (at least I think it was) for renovations, but we were able to visit the ruins of the cathedral which were cool. I’ve always wanted to go to a ruined cathedral as they seem to keep a certain kind of romance and magic to them. St. Andrews did not disappoint.
From there we needed to get back to Edinburgh to catch our return train to London. We made it in plenty of time. Actually we enjoyed our 3rd Indian meal of the trip. I’d say we’re both a little obsessed with Indian food at the moment. And we’re prepared to fully exploit that obsession while on this 2 week holiday.
Our time in London should be fun. We’ve got a couple of football matches to attend and of course the world famous pub quiz at the Ferrers. No real set plans beyond that really! Just seeing how we feel in the morning. It’s the way holidays should be. Ok, I need to make some dinner before quiz, so I will sign off. Let’s hope I get some more updates in from now on! I’m seriously disappointed with my effort as of late! Cheers guys.