Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Highlands: Day 2

We started our second day in the highlands with another big Scottish traditional breakfast before we hit the road again. This time we were off to see a castle up close. As we were driving, I was surprised to see signs in Gaelic everywhere. I thought Gaelic was an Irish language and I'd never associated it with Scotland. We even found a radio station in Gaelic!
The castle I wanted to see was the Cawdor Castle and it did not disapoint. Cawdor Castle was built in the 14th century around a thorn tree where the Thane of Cawdor's donkey layed down to rest with a wagon full of the Thanes gold in tow. The Thane then decided to build the castle here and it is complete with a dungeon and moat!
Here we all are standing on the drawbridge. Pretty cool! 
We weren't allowed to take pictures inside so you'll have to go check it out to see the inside for yourself. It was pretty cool to learn about the different clans of Scotland and the history of the castle, family, and area. It turns out this castle is also supposedly the inspiration for Shakespeare's Macbeth. After the tour we walked through the gardens and it sure made me wish I had a plot of land I could grow beautiful things on. Sigh, some day!
After the castle I was the driver one more time so the boys could check out Glenfiddich. The tour at Glenfiddich was free and they let you take pictures, walk through the aging area, and of course taste some whisky at the end.
Things at Glenfiddich are done just the same as at Glenlivet and Cardhu but it was still interesting to see the small differences between the distilleries.
The main difference in taste comes from the copper pot stills which you can see in the picture below. Each distillery has different shaped stills which allow different flavors to remain in the whisky. I thought that was interesting.
And because they get a lot of tourists, there are signs all over the highlands reminding you to drive on the left. I thought it was a nice reminder. It's so easy to sink into old habits and drift to the right, not good!
Once we were back in Inverness for the night we had dinner at The Joy of Taste, a surprisingly nice restaurant. After dinner on our walk back to the B&B we spotted a marching bagpipe band. I was much happier to see these fellows then the tourist trap buskers. 
It was a great day in the Highlands of Scotland!
Love Always,


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