Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 935: Whiskey, Bottlenose Dolphins, Coastal Routes & More!

The day started with yet another awesome Scottish breakfast, prepared by our hostess Kim, who is a darling little lady with a great sense of humour!

Post breakfast, we decided to embark on one of the "must-do"s in Scotland, the distillery tour! The closest distillery to Loch Ness was Glen Ord. Apparently their whiskies are not available worldwide but only in certain parts of Asia like Singapore, Korea and Thailand. So the only place where you can get the Glen Ord whiskey, is either in these countries in Asia or within the distillery in Scotland itself! How cool!

Anyway, so we made our way to the Glen Ord distillery and the drive there was very picturesque. I came across a field of my favourite yellow wildflowers and we made a quick stop for clicking some pictures!
The beautiful yellow wildflowers

At the distillery, we first went through their exhibition first and later was taken around by a guide who explained to us how their whiskey was made, what gave the whiskey its possible flavours like ginger, orange, vanilla etc., why the whiskey is brown and not clear like the pure alcohol it is supposed to be (apparently the brown comes from the barrels they are stored in!), how some of the most critical work such as the barrel assembly, alcohol control etc. are still done by human force and not machines, etc. etc. It was quite fascinating and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour!
At the Glen Ord distillery

After the tour, we decided to go this place called Chanonry point, which is at one of the coastal tips of Inverness, to try our luck at catching a glimpse of the bottlenose dolphins. A bit of research the day before and a chat with our hostess Kim this morning had revealed that we might be able to sight dolphins during low tide, when they are close to the shore to feed. But we were warned that this is a natural occurrence, so we may not see them after all!

But one gotta try! So we drove to Chanonry point and realized that dolphins or no dolphins, this place was too gorgeous in itself to make the trip completely worthwhile! It was beautiful! The road there with a golf course on either side and the waters beyond, the humungous beach, the views of the shores beyond - with a village on one end and a fort on the other, etc. were just spectacular!

Just as I was trying to get used to the increased cold near the waters, the freakishly strong winds and the gorgeous sights around me, the hubby shouted that there are dolphins in the water! And true enough, five cute little dolphins were swimming just a few metres ahead of us! I was so super thrilled! It's the first time I have seen dolphins in the wild and it was so awesome! First we spotted only the fins above the water but soon enough they were jumping and playing around! It was too good to be true and I kept clicking pictures non stop!

Bottlenose dolphin

They played around for about half an hour or so and then started moving away from the shore. So we made our way out of Chanonry point and walked into a takeaway place just outside the point. They were serving mediterranean food so both us treated ourselves to Doner Kebab. Instead of "taking away", we sat right inside that tiny little place on whatever seating we could find and munched away the notoriously huge portions of kebabs and accompanying chips! 

Post lunch, we decided to go on a drive along the scenic coastal route along the North Sea. This route goes all the way until the very north of Scotland and we drove up until half way there, took in as many of the sights as we possibly could and then turned back.
One of the bridges along the coastal route

Driving along the coastal route

We went back to the Loch Ness visitor centre for a cup of hot chocolate and then back to our B&B for some rest. Here we caught my in-laws, who are still in Singapore, online on Skype and updated them all that's happening at our end. That was pretty cool... to be able to give fresh updates of the trip, right from Scotland! 

For dinner, we drove down to Inverness and decided that we will go for Chinese food and found that at a place called Charlie Chan. The food was OK... nothing like the Chinese food in Singapore nor India, but still decent. 

We got back to the B&B well fed, all happy from such a wonderful day, and went to bed dreaming of the beautiful dolphins! 

65 more to go. 

1 comment:

  1. nice to hear that you like Chinese food in Singapore