We had a lie-in this morning then we went for an expensive breakfast on the boat. Later Patrik and Terese went to the tax-free shop and bought three bottles red wine. Time for lunch. We decided to have the Lunch buffet so we would make it through the day and this was also expensive. After lunch we took a nap then it was only to wait until the boat docked. We were home on Swedish ground again at 17.30 hours.
After a little lie-in and when we were all washed and dressed, we drove south. Before we drove to the terminal to check in we went for a little shopping. More Magners for Terese and a supply of food to have on the boat, breakfast and coffee breaks were so expensive on the boat. We went directly to our cabins and got settled in. Patrik rushed up and checked the open hours for the tax-free shop. When they eventually opened Patrik was the third person in the shop and quickly made his way to the shelves with whisky , grabbed a bottle of Lagavulin Distillers Edition, as he was terrified it would be sold out. Terese bought 2 bottles of liquer in the tax-free shop. Gun and Lennarth bought booze and sweets. Later Terese and Patrik went back and bought a few other things. In the evening Terese and Patrik treated Gun and Lennarth to dinner to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. The evening ended with a visit to the pub and a little sing-a-long.
The day started as usual, up at the normal time, breakfast and morning chores. We drove around looking for a Tesco store so Terese could buy Magners to take home, unfortunately we could not find one but we found the road to Stirling , so we took it. When we arrived at Stirling Castle we all felt we had seen enough castles and thought the entrance fee was a little too expensive. We decided to take pictures of the outside of the castle and also of the Wallace Monument which lies a bit away but after taking photos of the castle we went down to Stirling Old Town and took a coffee break with tasty muffins instead. We went back to the car and continued our journey to Newcastle, tomorrow we take the boat home. We drive Edinburgh Bypass and decide to drive the coastal route. In Berwick-upon-Tweed we have a break and eat lunch at McDonalds and buy some Magners for Terese in the nearby shopping centre. When we drive south to Belford we choose the coastal route, it is nicer and there should be more campsites along the motorway. Even today we notice it is a Bank holiday all the campsites are fully booked, but in Craster we meet a kind owner who finds us a spot for our tent so we decide to spend the night there.
Patrik was awake first which was unusual, he seemed overexcited. Probably due to the fact that he was on Islay. During the night we had the worst rainfall in the whole of our trip the morning air dampness lay around 75% which made it impossible to see 15 metres in front of you in certain places. After getting packed up we went on the trips most distillery packed day. Our first stop was to Laphroaig which had a cosy little shop with leather couches etc. We were probably the first visitors for the day because the personnel seemed a little surprised but as usual very nice. The next distillery was Lagavulin. One of Patriks favourite whiskies. Unfortunately their shop was nothing special. It contained glassed in shelves where all the whiskies were. Patrik bought a dram glass and a postcard which he is going to send to PÃ¤r. We continued our journey to Ardbeg which had a proper shop and a restaurant. We were recommended to eat at the restaurant by an employee at Laphroig but we didnât. Patrik bought a green water jug for his whiskies and Terese bought a picknick blanket in Ardbegs green colours. We met the cycling Swedish ladies again.
When this visit was done we continued north east to Kildaton Cross, which is an old celtic cross. It seems we managed to sightsee before the tourist invasion began. Then we hurried on to Bowmore where we hoped to join the round tour at 11.30, but it had already started at
11 Ã¶âclock so we booked for the tour at15.00 hours We drove on to Caol Ila, which proved to be a smart move as their shop closed at 12 oâclock on Fridays. Patrik bought a Caol Ila Cask Strength and a dram glass,so now he has four (Edinburgh, Edradour, Lagavulin and Caol Ila). When the shop closed we drove towards bunnahahain, but was sidetracked by a lovely little pottery on the way, so we stopped for a look. They had a cafÃ© so we had coffee and tea and a scone each for Â£2 per person. After speaking to the talkative and pleasant owner of the pottery we decided not to go to bunnahahain but go to Loch Finnlagan instead on his recommendation. After our visit to Loch Finnlagan we drove to Killnallan to look at the enormous beach. We then continued our journey to Bowmore so we wouldnât miss the tour. When we arrived at the distillery who did we meet but the cycling ladies. Bowmoreâs shop was being renovated but the temporary shop they were using was really nice. The distillery tour was interesting and exciting. We go through the whole production line (right now they didnât have any distillation on the go) and really look at all the stages. After the tour we were treated to a wee dram. Patrik and Lennarth each bought a Bowmore 16year Limited Edition Sherry Cask which they had tasted and really liked. Terese bought a present for her uncle who likes Bowmore whisky. We then went and organised a little lunch. Gun and Lennarth bought rolls at the Co-op while Patrik and Terese went to the bakery and bought some pies to warm up. After lunch we took a quick look around the village. Patrik looked in âThe Islay Whisky Shopâ? but didnât find anything special, even if the had lots of exciting editions, but they were a bit too expensive.
Now we longed to get back to the camping site and started to drive south. We had a quick stop in Port Ellen to check if there were available places on the 9.45 ferry from Port Ellen, instead of the 7.00 from Port Askaig (which meant getting up at 4 Ã¶âclock). Luckily for us there were available places on the 9.45 so we happily rebooked. We then took a tour of Mull of Oa for a closer look at the countryside. Then it was back to the camping site.
In the usual way and roughly the same time as all the other days we left the camping site by the small and winding coastal road to Oban. We hadn’t planned so much today.. We are going to Arduaine Gardens and then on to Kennacraig from there a ferry ride over to Port Ellen on Islay. While Gun and Lennarth went in to Arduine Gardens Terese and Patrik sat in Loch Melfort Hotel and had tea and coffee and shortbread. Gun and Lennarth thought the gardens were very interesting and had many different variations of plants which we had at home. Driving a little further we stopped at Kilmartin for lunch then we drove a smaller road since we had lots of time before the ferry went to Islay. By taking a detour we got to see Crinan Canal. In Lochgilphead we searched for a Co-op, Patrik had seen that they had Balvenie Double Wood which was cheaper there. After driving around we found it and Patrik bought his whisky. We drove to Tabert and took a walk around the town, ate ice-cream, etc. We then drove to the ferry terminal and picked up our tickets. We continued to drive south until we found a place to stop, and found a very nice beach, so Gun had a quick dip in the sea. We had food on the ferry and met some Swedes. They were from Stockholm and had flown to Glasgow then were going to drive around Scotland. We also met a group of ladies who were going to cycle round Islay. When we arrive on Islay we drove directly up to Kintra Farm where the camping site was. The tents were put up on grass covered sanddunes by the beach. We ate supper, then it was time for bed.
We woke up at a reasonable time. After getting ready and having breakfast we followed one of the guidebooks tips, to follow the road through Glen Nevis to the end. When this was done we drove back to Fort William and then continued south. When we came closer to Glen Coe we discovered a road round Loch Leven. We stopped at a Shell station in Glen Coe which had nearly everything. After Lennarth bought a plastic hammer for the tent pegs we continued on our way to Oban. Immediately when we came to Oban we chose as we had earlier to drive out to the camping site, to make sure we would have a pitch for the tents. When the pitches were organised and lunch was eaten we went for a walk around the town, book places at McTavish’s visit the distillery and Craig’s Tower. Oban is a very beautiful harbour town. It has a lively center and as usual pleasant people. At the distillery Patrik learned how to drink Daluine the proper way, a very nice experience. He even bought an Oban Distiller Edition. After our walk around the town center we drove back to the camp site to prepare for the evening. McTavish’s Kitchen was an exciting experience. Lennarth ordered Haggis, which was really tastey and filling. When we were enjoying our dessert and coffee the Scottish Show started and continued for two hours. Lots of bagpipes, fiddles and accordions, highland fling and gaellic songs. We then drove back to the camping site and slept.
Now we are in Fort William. Terese had 15 minutes on an Internet Café in the High Street. She wanted to check if money had been drawn from her account in Edinburgh when she didn’t get any money from the ATM. I would just like to inform you who read this blogg that a journey diary will be published just as soon as we have a little more time to input it.
We are having a good time, it is warm and nice. We have looked at lots of castles, ruins, and whisky. The people are kind and helpful.
After the usual morning chores we travel towards Urqhart Castle, the most famous place along Loch Ness. After taking pictures of the castle, we didn’t go in, but continued towards Drumnadrochit, according to the guidebook this is where to buy Loch Ness souvenirs which we had promised to buy for the family.
After shopping we drove back towards Invermoriston because it is from that village the road goes to Isle of Skye. The road was really cool. We drove approximately 200 meters over the sea with mountain tops around us which were nearer 1000m. Before we went over to the Isle of Skye we stopped to look at Eilean Donan Castle which isn’t too far from the bridge to the Isle of Skye. Patrik, Terese and Gun went into the castle for a look while Lennarth went around and took photos outside. Inside the castle there were lots of old memorabilia from relations who own the castle. Not as much memorabilia as in Blair Castle, so one was a little blasé.
After the sightseeing tour we went over to the Isle of Skye with the intention of finding a camping site at Portree where we could use as a base for our trips round the island. At Portree we found our way to Torvaig camping site where we stayed the rest of the day as it was raining. We took the chance to write postcard to our friends and have a rest. In the evening we went down to Portree for dinner. We ate at an Indian restaurant. Patrik took a dish that was so strong his eyes were watering.