Monday, October 26, 2009

Scotland: Ramblings . . .

Like wine is to Italy, Scotch whisky is to Scotland. Although I'm not a very big drinker in general, while in Scotland I will have to give a wee glass of Scotch whisky a try! :) After all, going there and not having some Scotch Whisky would be like going to Italy and not having a glass of wine or prosecco. So what exactly is Scotch Whisky, I had to give myself a quick lesson so I'll know what to order.

"Scotch whisky is divided into four distinct categories: single malt, vatted malt (also called "pure malt"), blended and single grain. There are two major categories, single and blended. Single means that all of the product is from a single distillery, while Blended means that the product is composed of whiskies from two or more distilleries." ~ Wikipedia

Well, after contemplating the choices, I think I'll have a go with a Blended Scotch Whisky, because it sound's like a lighter drink! I'll report back on what I think. :)

And just to whet my appetite even more, here's a satellite image of the beautiful Sands of Morar which is where they filmed a great movie called "Local Hero" that was recommended to me by AnnieNC (Churches in Venice). And the green line that says A830 is the road that I'll be driving along on, but of course, I'll be on the "left" and not right side of the road. :)

I'll have 3 days in Arisaig before I ferry over to the Isle of Skye, so I'll use the time to explore this beautiful part of the West Highlands. First on my priority list, Morar!

Here, I'll see the River Morar (Britain's shortest river).

I'll explore the village and Loch Morar which is the deepest fresh water loch in all of Europe. They say that in it's deepest depths (1,017 ft), a creature similar to the more famous Loch ness has been known to make an occasional appearance. The locals have dubbed the monster, Morag.

I will try to visit the western end of the loch where the first seminary in Scotland was founded and where young men were educated and prepared for the priesthood. This seminary, which was raised following the Jacobite Rebellion, assured Morar and Arisaig of their importance in the Catholic Church.

Then, while visiting the village, I will want to visit the cross and viewpoint for the panoramic views of the Inner Hebrides and Loch Morar. The cross was erected in 1899 to commemorate the opening of the present church.

And to top it all off, while in Morar I will order some Thai Food take out from a famous Thai restaurant called Sunset! Yummy!

Last year Sandra (A Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with ... Too much Luggage) wrote several posts about her trip plans to Italy before she left. I liked the idea so much that I did the same for my trip to Spain. It worked so well for me that in the next few days before I leave for Scotland, I will do a couple of posts about where and what are on my plans.

16 days to go! Whoo Hoo!


  1. Oh - I can't wait to go to Scotland via you! Thanks for whetting my appetite.! menehune

  2. Hi M, thanks so much for your comments. I shall try to satisfy your appetite and mine. :) Have a good day today.

  3. I'm so glad you're going to do some pre-trip posts! Your plans sound wonderful and I'm so glad you're going to see that beautiful place where they filmed the movie. Love that little clip (those guys looks so funny walking on the beach in their suits!).

    I've heard of Nessy of course but didn't know about Morag. I've had single malt whisky before and I liked it (but it's a lot stronger than prosecco, for sure).

    I'm sure you're getting so excited. As M. said, I'm looking forward to the vicarious trip to Scotland too!

  4. Hi Annie, thanks so much for your comments. I wasn't sure I was going to have time to write some pre-trip posts but I think that writing what my plans are is going to help settle me down and give me a guide to work from, otherwise I'm going to be all over the place and worse I'm going to miss something really wonderful.

    I have never had scotch before so it'll be fun to try it. I'll make sure that I don't drive anywhere after though, just in case it hits me hard. :)

    I've heard of Nessy before and I was surprised to read about Morag when I was reading up on the village of Morar. Since I won't have time to visit Iverness where Loch ness is, at least I'll get to see a Loch that has a similar legend.

    I'll probably have time to do three more posts on the other remaining major segments of my trip and then I think I'm ready...

    I'll try my best to give you girls a nice vicarious trip to Scotland! :)

    Thanks again for your comments and have a great evening!

  5. Me again, I forgot to mention that I'm so excited to see the sands of Morar from the Movie too. That scene is very fully and the back ground is so pretty. I think I may even be able to visit the little white church too. I'm trying to figure out the exact location. It's definitely somewhere in Morar. I guess I'll figure it out when I'm there. I'm sure someone can tell me where it is. :)

    Thanks again Annie.

  6. Whoo-hoo is right, Kathy! I can't wait to hear more about your plans for Scotland, I'm finding this so fascinating.

    That's a wonderful clip from Local Heros -- the irony is delightful. Can you imagine walking in that gorgeous setting, thinking only about calling back to the office?

    He definitely needed a good shot of a single-malt Scotch. I hope you get to try something good -- maybe a tasting where you could compare just a little taste of a few differnet kinds. I have a nice Lagavulin which is a bit smokey and peat-y. Definitely slow sipping kind of stuff.

  7. This is going to be so much fun visiting Scotland with you.

    Scotch Whisky takes a bit to get used to. I do like it but it is strong. We like it in the winter or when we camp on cold days. I know they are different but I think of it like grappa.

    If you get to the island of Islay - try the single malt from that island. It is very very different - very smoky. It tastes like a campfire. I know it sounds strange but I find it intriguing.

  8. Hi Kathy, it looks like your trip planning is coming together nicely, and that you are ready for your first scotch whisky!
    I like your idea of pre-trip blogging, and look forward to reading more.

  9. Hi everyone, thanks so much for your comments....

    Sandra, Scotland is so different than other places I've been to and I also find it so fascinating.That is such a great clip from Local Heros. The movie is so wonderful. I love that irony too. With scotch being a slow sipping drink (and with different varieties), I like your suggestion of going somewhere to have a sip of several kinds. I seem to have bookmarked a distillery tour somewhere. Might be something fun to try.

    Marta, thanks for the tips on Scotch Whisky too. I'll have to find out where Islay is on my map. If I am unable to find a way to visit there on this trip I will definitely try to be on the look out for their island brand scotch while there. It'll be fun trying it for the first time. Maybe after a long day from sightseeing around the island smokey and smooth should go down well in the cold of the evening.

    Maya, yes I'm so thankful that my trip is coming together. And I think that I shall be ready for that first sip of Scotch when I get there. I do like the pre-trip blogging idea from Sandra too. It really does help to focus and organize my thoughts better.

    Thanks so much everyone for all of your comments and tips. And it is now less than two weeks away. :)

  10. Oh Kathy, all this sounds so amazing. I can't wait to see Scotland through your eyes and words.

    The scotch lesson was great, I knew nothing about that, I'll imagine blended would be my choice too.

  11. Kathy, I am so excited for you that your trip to Scotland is really coming together! Like the others, I will be traveling with you vicariously.

    Drinking Scotch is an acquired taste. When I first started drinking alcoholic beverages many years ago, it was Scotch. I got to like it then, but I haven't had any for a long time. I am a confirmed wino now!

  12. Your post brings back memories of a trip my wife and I did in Scotland a few years ago. The scenery is fantastic and the people are great. Enjoy your trip!

  13. Wow, so close now!! You must be getting sooo excited. The scenery in that film clip is amazing. Will you be near that beach? I can't wait to read about more of your plans.

  14. Hi everyone, thanks so much for your comments.

    Candi, glad you liked the scotch lesson. I also learned a lot from the comments from Annie, Sandra and Marta and also Nancy's comments who have some knowledge and experience with Scotch. I might extend my experince to include trying a single malt too. The good news is Scotch appears to be a slow sipping drink so I can take my sweet time. :)

    Nancy, I don't blame you for being a wino now. :) Maybe I will acquire the taste for scotch. But if not, I still have my prosecco and cava to fall back on. :)

    Quickroute, that's so wonderful that my post brought back some memories of your trip to Scotland with our wife. I appreciate hearing your positive comments. Thanks so much for sharing them. From everything that I have read and seen so far and now your comments I believe that I will really enjoy my trip and seeing all the fantastic scenery and meeting all the friendly people. It's very exciting.

    Girasoli, yes it is soooo close! Yikes! Wee! Yikes Wee! That's how my emotions have been this past week. I'm very excited because yes, I'll be visiting that place in the video. It is called the Sands of Morar and it is a very small town called, you guessed it, "Morar". :)

    Thanks everyone for all of your wonderful comments and feedback. I have two more posts in draft form that I hope to finish before I leave. Have a great evening!

  15. Great post, your trip is almost here!! Woohoo!!

    I'm not a whiskey drinker, but I too would have to sample the local beverage if in Scotland :) Glenora Distillers in Nova Scotia makes a single malt whiskey (I believe they were first in North America to do so). The Scotch Whisky Association actually took them to court to try to stop them from using the word "glen" in their product name...after a 9 year battle, Glenora is now allowed to use the word though. I'll be interested to find out how you like Scotch in Scotland!

    Neat story about the deep loch and the monster Morag too. Very enjoyable post, Kathy. Enjoy your weekend!

  16. Sounds like a wonderful trip you're planning!

  17. And, Kathy, I can't wait to start reading about your trip! You are going places we didn't get to see, so that will be fun for me. It will be like expanding my own trip.
    Isn't being on the countdown fun?

  18. Hi Anne, that's intersting that Glenora Distillers is the first maker of single malt whiskey in North America. I have never tried Scotch Whiskey before so it'll be fun to try it for the first time in Scotland. I had my first Prosecco in Venice and that experience has stayed with me so I think it'll be cool to try Scotch whiskey for the first time in Scotland. I thought the Morag story was interesting. I doubt that I will see anything as it is more of a local legend then fact, but if I do happen to see anything I'm packing up the camera gear and running in the opposite direction. After I snap my photo of Morag first, of course. :) Glad you liked my post. You have a great weekend too!

    Hi Amy, thank you for your comments. I think it will be a wonderful trip too and I'm very excited to see Scotland for the first time. Thanks again for your comments and have a great weekend!

  19. Hi Deborah, we must have been commenting at the same time. :) I really enjoyed reading about the places like Oban and the caves that you visited. I only wish that I could have more time to also visit there. I am so excitd to see the Highlands and the Isle of Skye and also the two cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh too. I hope that I do as good a job as you did on describing the places that I visit.

    Thanks for your comments and have a great weekend!

  20. I had my first prosecco in Venice too, with Maria last October! And recently I discovered that my local liquor store carries a few samples of it, so I've been able to enjoy it at home a couple times. So tasty :)

    Just thinking that I might get a bottle of prosecco to christen the Boler the first time we spend a night in it. Hoping that will be soon, I have a spot all picked out at the campground! Although come think of it, beer might be more fitting for a night in a trailer park!

  21. OMG, Kathy, you’re leaving in 11 days! It's almost here! I'm so excited for you and can't wait for your posts from Scotland.

    I really enjoyed that movie (thanks Annie!) and watching the clip made want to see it again.

    I hope you are having a great weekend!

  22. Hi Maria, yes OMG is right. I'm very excited but I have so not yet prepared and have been working double time to prepare my notes. I love that movie too (thanks from me too Annie) and when I realized that I was going to be traveling near where some of the scenes were filled on my way to the Isle of Skye I purposely altered my itinerary to spend some time exploring that part that of the Highlands. It's going to be so great to see it in person. They say that that part of Scotland has some of the most beautiful sunsets. I just hope it stops raining enough so I can capture a couple of good shots of them. I liked the one I caught in Cadiz and now I want to try and get a good one in Scotland. :)

    Thanks so much for your comments and encouragements. Hope you are having a great weekend too!

  23. Hi Anne, I remember reading your blog about your Venice experience with Maria. That was so much fun to read how much you were both enjoying yourselves. I think a nice bottle of Prosecco and a bottle of beer would both be great to Christen your new Boler with. I can't wait to see your photos and read about your first camping trip with your Boler. How exciting that you've already picked out the campsite for your first overnight camping trip. Yay!

    Have a great Sunday Anne!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.