Scotland Recap – Part four

You can read parts one, deux, and three before moving on. Hopefully, this is the very last part, as I don’t want to turn this into the Wheel of Time. 🙂

Driving from Skye to Inverness

portree_portSaying goodbye to Portree. The hotels were crap, but the port was beautiful.

The drive from Skye to Inverness was pleasant, the landscapes are magnificent and the Scots, even though they drive like mad men, are very courteous drivers.

passing_placesOnly picture taken of a passing place. This is on a 60mph road.

Loch Ness Cruise

Of course, we couldn’t visit Scotland without doing something on or around Loch Ness. We decided to take a short hour cruise on the Loch, and it was very cool.

Loch_Ness_Cruise
We’re on a boat, motherf*ckers!
Loch_Ness_Cruise2Great shot illustrating the weather in Scotland. Sunny where we are, raining in the background.
Urquhart_CastleThe cruise took us near Urquhart Castle.

When we arrived in Inverness, we first met with our B&B hosts, who were very helpful and provided us with a plethora of information about Inverness. We had lunch at Leakey’s – an old church converted into a second-hand bookstore with a café on the mezzanine. It was like being in a very old bookstore, managed by a crazy librarian who knows where every single book is.

librarianView from the mezzanine at Leakey’s.

We then wandered about the city, and found a very small Café where we wrote postcards for our family.

coffeeCappuccino and postcards.
postcardsThis is what I did with my parent’s postcards. If you can’t tell, I actually wrote across two postcards so they couldn’t read one card without the other. 🙂

We then had an awesome dinner at the Mustard Seed. The ambiance of the restaurant is very cozy, and we were lucky enough to be waited on by Annie The Belgian waitress, which meant that we could have a nice relaxing dinner. Let me explain.

Mustard_SeedThe Mustard Seed.

Our experience in Scotland about meals are that Scots are very efficient when it comes to food, sometimes to the point where us tourists may feel rushed at times. You see Scotland has the “English Pub mentality” where when you go to the pub to have a few pints, you’d most likely stand at the bar and slam one pint after another. There are a few tables in pubs, but those are mainly for tourists (I assume). The same principle seems to be ported over to meals. If you want to relax and have a long meal, you have to fight with the staff for them to let you drink your beer in peace. Otherwise, they’ll stand at the table until you place your order, and once the order’s placed, you’re served as quickly as possible.

Higher end restaurants even have a “waiting room” where you first sit, grab a beer and order. Once your appetizers are ready, you’re asked to move to the table where the food gets there 5 seconds after you do.

So you can understand our joy when we detected a French accent on our waitress at the Mustard Seed. We told her about our experience, she said she understood and was going to run interference with the kitchen. We had a very relaxing meal.

11pm1Heading back to our B&B at 11pm. Can’t get over the fact it’s still daylight-ish.

From Inverness to Elgin via MacAllan

We were only driving a short distance the next day, but had a few stops planned on the way. We started with a brief stop at Fort George, walked around, took pictures. Fort George looks a lot like “La citadelle de Québec”.

citadel1

Canons at the Citadel

oh_noes

With 15′ drops everywhere, what can go wrong really?
oopsOh… right. Oops.

After goofing off at the Fort, we made our way to Benromach, small and charming but unfortunately the product is just okay. We quickly made a detour to Cardhu to get another stamp – enough to get the Quaich, yay! and then had lunch at the Mash Tun. There were dogs everywhere. I had a really nice burger, and the beer – the sheep shagger – was very good.

glenfarclas

Glenfarclas “Family Casks collection” on the wall at the Mash Tun. The 1971 dram was 87£.

The main goal of the day was to take the Precious Tour at the MacAllan. Ian our tour guide called us Americans, and I was nice enough to not call him British in return. We tasted a lot of good whisky, confirming once again that I like the expensive stuff.

macallanThat 30 year-old was awesome. The 12? Not so much.

After that we did a stamp run at Cragganmore. We got there with 8 minutes to spare and were told that they were closing in 8 minutes so they couldn’t give us a dram. To quote Martin: “Well, next time we have only 8 minutes to buy a Whisky, we’ll buy something else”. We got the stamp and got out of there by a very interesting backroad / field. 🙂 We made our way to Elgin for our next stop.

Elgin, the Pines.

The B&B was very nice. We had some issue booking a place at a recommended restaurant, so we decided to walk to the general restaurant area and see what was available. We met some very drunk friendly Scots standing in front of the Muckle Cross and they told us that we absolutely had to have food there, that it was steak night, and that the drinks were cheap.

mucklecrossThe Muckle Cross.

We had 2 steaks, 2 pints and 2 desserts for 17£, which is by far the cheapest meal we had while in Scotland. We also had jaeger bombs with the drunk friendly Scots.

friendly_scotsThe drunk friendly Scots: Al, Gordon, Lesley and Michelle.

After that lovely evening, we retired to the B&B. We called home and my son sounded really sad. 😦 We’ll be home in 3 short days.

And thus concludes part four of the massive Scotland recap. Stay tuned for the last part  of this magnificent adventure.

You can read all the recaps by following these links:

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8 comments

  1. looking through the photos on flickr without reading your recap allowed me to make up stories about what i was viewing. you don’t wanna know what story i created to go along with the sudden appearance of four new faces in the middle of all of those images!

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