A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about whiskey

Scotland: Corrieshalloch Gorge

Rain, Fog & Fear of Heights

Many of us have heard that there are multiple words in Eskimo for snow. I am amazed there aren't an equal number of words for rain in Scotland. Maybe they're in Gaelic. Anyone know? In the US, we have a saying that April showers bring May flowers. In Scotland they say, if it wasn't for rain there would be no whiskey. Personally, I think there is a need for so much whiskey because there is so much rain.

On yet another windy and rainy day in Scotland, I found myself standing in the middle of a very shaky suspension bridge, high over the River Droma looking at a breath-taking waterfall and trying not to think about how high up I was. I hiked through the woods to get to this point and I was not going to leave without pictures to prove that I had overcome my fear of heights and bridges to have this experience. Except when I looked through my viewfinder, all I could see was blur! Something was wrong with my camera lens. Stubbornly determined to get my shot, I stood on the swaying bridge, with nothing to hold onto and changed my camera lens. And still saw blur. I fished around in my pocket until I found my phone and finally got the shots.

Long after I was back on solid ground and my knees had stopped wobbling, I pulled apart my camera to try to figure out what was wrong. DUH! It was so rainy and wet that my camera lenses had simply fogged up. I was so rattled by being so high up in the air on a swaying footbridge, a steamed up lens had never occurred to me. Here are my pictures. The first two are my foggy camera pics. You can see why I panicked!



Posted by teethetrav 11:11 Archived in Scotland Tagged rain scotland whiskey corrieshalloch_gorge suspension_bridge Comments (0)

Scotland: Faeries, Nessie, & Kelpies

Fact, Fiction, Whiskey & Beer

Scotland has 38,000 lochs (lakes). Some are fresh water and are landlocked. Others run into the sea. Loch Ness is the second largest loch in the Scottish Highlands. Situated in the Great Glen, the fresh water Loch runs from Inverness in the north to Fort William in the south. Loch Ness is approximately 25 miles long and incredibly deep, 750 feet at its deepest point. The depth plus the high peat content explain why the water is so dark it is almost black. It is here in the murky, dark water where "Nessie" hides. She is the infamous creature who is also known as the Loch Ness Monster. She occasionally makes appearances both in and out of the water. Stories about her sightings usually begin with a pub and there's whiskey involved. Whether or not you believe in Nessie, Loch Ness is one of a series of interconnected bodies of water in Scotland and it, like all the Lochs I saw, is spectacular. The water, the mountains, the rolling clouds reflecting on the Loch, the mist, and the fog are ever-changing and cast a spell that make you want to stay and binge watch forever.


Scotland has a rich history of mythical creatures such as Nessie. Maybe it's the mystical scenery, or the wild and remote land. Or it could be the beer and whiskey that lead to creative stories told late into the night. Regardless, Nessie is just one of many creatures the Scots are more than happy to explain with entertaining tales. The kelpie is an animal that tricks you into thinking it is a horse. But beware…kelpies are mean! They are shape-shifting spirits who live in the water. The kelpie often appears as a tame pony beside a river. These water horses can also appear in human form. They may materialize as a beautiful young woman who hopes to lure young men to their death. If you are fooled, you will get dragged into the water and meet your doom. Scottish stories never have happy endings. Walt Disney would have been an epic fail here.

Other popular stories tell about the faeries. To be clear: we are not talking about Tinker Bell. Scottish faeries are mean and hate humans. There are faerie traps all over the country. They are openings in the earth that, should you explore them, you will be kidnapped and held prisoner. You might well disappear for centuries like Rip Van Winkle. Faerie Glen on the Isle of Skye is an enchanted place. There is no definitive folklore linking the land to the faerie realm, but some say faeries created the dramatic landscape and still dwell within its many crevices. It doesn't take much imagination to picture faeries, or possibly hobbits, hanging out here.

The Faerie Glen is well hidden on winding back roads, but it’s well worth searching for it. Even if you don't return for a few hundred years.



Posted by teethetrav 11:53 Archived in Scotland Tagged beer isle_of_skye whiskey loch_ness nessie kelpies faerie_glen Comments (0)

Scotland: Road Trip

Heading to the Highlands

The trip from Edinburgh up to Inverness and the Highlands is dotted with small opportunities to see samples of Scottish history. It is also a ride through ever-changing scenery that is green and hilly, then shifts to a brown and gray moonscape as you move out of the Lowlands across the fault line up into the Highlands. Layered over everything are clouds, mist, fog, and broody skies that can shift from dark to light as quickly as you cross a road. A road that gets slimmer the higher you climb and eventually becomes one narrow lane with small, paved sections that enable you to pull over so vehicles coming in the other direction can pass you on the curved mountain roads. Did I mention there was fog?

One stop is the historic town of Dunkeld on the River Tay where you can wander into the Dunkeld Cathedral, walk along the River, admire the town garden, shop a bit and get a wee snack in one of cafes.


Another stop is the Folk Museum in Newtonmore. This reproduction village shows how Scottish Highlanders lived from the 1700s on. You can wander in and out of buildings that show how they built their homes, farmed, how they dressed, how they wove wool, and made their clothes. Set in a one mile long, 80 acre site, the scenic working farm has restored buildings that brings Highland history to life. There is a lovely trail to hike.


No Scottish road trip would be complete with a stop at a whiskey distillery. There are around 120 distilleries in Scotland, so pace yourself. The Dalwhinnie Distillery is known for pairing single malt whiskey with chocolate, so it has double appeal if you are a fan of either, or both. You can take a tour and learn how whiskey is made, or simply sample from 1 to 6 drams of different whiskeys, each served with a chocolate. For 5 pounds you can get a cup of hot chocolate that is so thick it is more like pudding.


Posted by teethetrav 04:02 Archived in Scotland Tagged scotland whiskey dunkeld highland_folk_museum dalwhinnie_distillery single_malt_whiskey river_tay Comments (1)

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