Loch Ness to Edinburgh

September 1, 2014

John and Fiona made us a great breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, potato scones and black pudding (sort of like haggis). They are experts at running a B & B with many nice touches. We started our drive around 9:30 and decided that our only sightseeing stop would be at the Edradour Whiskey Distillery. One other possibility was the battlefield at Culloden, where Bonnie (pretty) Prince Charles was soundly defeated quite quickly by the English, and was spirited away by Flora McDonald to Skye. She disguised him as her maid and he got out of Scotland but never returned to power. The battle was a turning point in world history and Culloden, just east of Inverness, sounded like an interesting place. We also looked at Balmoral, where the queen spends a few months this time of year, but it is closed to tourists right now. So, on to the distillery, where Frasier took us on about an hours tour. He told us that around 2% of the whiskey evaporates over the years, and that is called the ‘angel’s share’ and is not begrudged by anyone. This distillery is the smallest in Scotland and prides itself on doing the entire process without being totally computerized like all the other ones in Scotland. The distillery is in Pitlochry, a pretty little town in the hills. We got back on the road and had a very nice drive to Edinburgh on the M9, which was occasionally 4 lane (dual carriageway). We found our B & B easily around 3:00, parked the car and unloaded our luggage. Aileen, our host at the Victorian Town House, is quite a character. She thought we and the Lyndalls were coming together, so we stayed and chatted with her about an hour (she watches a lot of tv and movies and asked us about ‘Fargo’ [she loved it] and Prince, and then got into Scottish politics) while we waited for Ward and Marylee. We decided about 4:15 that we should return our car, so drove to the Edinburgh airport right at rush hour. ( On Skye, we saw the motto “Stay Calm, Hold Fast” on T-shirts, etc. and thought it was a reference to driving in Scotland. As it turns out, it was about the bad economy a few years back). We took the Airlink bus from the airport to Haymarket, and walked the short distance to the B & B. Marylee and Ward had arrived (had to wait outside a while for Aileen, as she had to run an errand). We walked together to Rose Street, where we had a beer at Dirty Dick’s pub while we were waiting for a table at Wildfire across the street. We liked our dinner: Ward had lamb shank, Marylee, Fisherman’s Pie, Jay ate a filet, and Barbara enjoyed shrimp. The rooms at the B & B are large and lovely and Aileen stocks them with a gift of a small decanter of whiskey, a box of chocolates as well as tea, coffee, and Kit Kat bars. We turned in about 10:00 in our cozy beds.

Balachladaich B & B

Balachladaich B & B

Nice road from Inverness to Edinburgh

Nice road from Inverness to Edinburgh

The Edradour Distillery

The Edradour Distillery

The Edradour Distillery-2

Guide Frasier at the Edradour Distillery


Pitlochry

Pitlochry

Pitlochry-2

Castle near Pitlochry

A Beer at Dirty Dicks

A Beer at Dirty Dicks


Jay 2014