Thursday, May 25, 2017

Scotland Day 5: Naughty Kitties

  Mornings have not been my friend.  Yesterday I didn’t sleep well, and this morning I had to locate a missing contact.  I remember putting it in and pouring the solution on it, then I didn’t put the top on right away.  This morning I went to open it and all that was in there was solution.  Bill asked if I checked the lid (I did) or if I forgot to take it out (I didn’t).  I found it as a dry crumpled thing stuck partially inside the lid of my toothpaste tube.  No idea how it got there, but once it found it I put it right in some new solution.  I was so worried since that had been my back-up pair and I have no idea how you go about getting contact lenses when in another country.  Bill’s sight is about -1.25 off from mine and I don’t think it is advisable to only use one contact when you need two.

  While my contact was figuring itself out after an hour soak we went to see a bridge.  It was very picturesque but I have not looked up anything about it.  Craigellachie looked like it had been a drivable bridge at one point, but definitely not any more.

  Macallan was our first distillery.  I tried a bit of their Amber.  It wasn’t as bad as some of the other general scotches I have had.  The visitor’s center opened at 9:30am, but they couldn’t serve any alcohol until 10am.  This explains why most of the ones we were looking at didn’t open until 10.
  There was also a lot of construction.  Seems that they are working on making a whole new distillery and plan for it to be open by next spring.  Bill kind of wants to come back once they open the new areas.

  Though we passed 3 Bags Wool on the way to Ballindalloch castle, I had a feeling that the mill we had planned might have better prices, so I wanted to hold off until after we went there.  The mill was planned for lunch since they had a cafe, and it was still too early, so here we are.
  We took the tour and it was interesting, but didn’t feel like a castle.  The general consensus was that it felt more like a manor or an estate house.  It is also still partially being lived in.  There had also been many signs warning of red squirrels.  We didn’t see a one!  I was interested to see how differently they looked.

  We did see two alpaca, two ponies, and two mules.  There were also a bunch of sheep when we got in and some cattle as we left.
  We also ran into one of the Camper Dogs RVs.  They had their website on their camper.  I didn’t know they existed, but once I saw the website and heard the dogs barking I got curious.  It is an RV rental company that is dog friendly.  Their website is also in German.
  Down the road some the castle also has a distillery and a golf course.  The distillery seemed to only have tours by appointment, so it was our fastest one so far.

  The Pictish stones were both hard to find and underwhelming.  First you had to look for the name of the Church to find them on any GPS searches.  Then they were also on the porch of the church.  While they were interesting, they weren’t as interesting as we were hoping.

  Knockando Woolmill had a fun drive to get to having us pass many pastures of sheep.  We had actually passed it a few times in our other travels.  I was hoping that there was going to be a field with some fluffy (or recently made not fluffy) sheep with some cute babies that I could take pictures of.  There was none within sight, but that didn’t stop me from perusing the yarn.  I also got a sandwich with tomato, rocket, and mozzarella.  Since we had to pay for our lunch back in the gift shop, I decided to get more yarn.  I have at least 2 cowls and a few hats worth.  I didn’t ask, but I do wonder if they ship.  Their prices were quite nice, so I definitely didn’t feel the need to try and go to 3 Bags Wool.
  We didn't get there in time to see Leslie or Margaret.  I hope they had a lot of fun and bought a bunch of wool.

  Cardhu distillery was pretty much across the street.  The tour price wasn’t bad and they had spots available.  Since I have never been on one, I decided to go too.  Before our tour we were told that there was some “hairy coo” in the field within view.  Diesel and Harry were the closest to the fence(right), and Treasure and baby Hector (who was 2 weeks old) were hanging out a bit farther in.  It also turns out that they really like digestive biscuits and Harry wandered over for one.  I feel like this trip is more complete now.  We later found out that another baby had been rejected and it had looked like Diesel had recently had one.

  To get them to come closer a guy who works there got out of his truck and threw them some treats.  We saw that he was tossing them some McVitie's Digestives.  They are round biscuits that are slightly sweet.  Hairy was nosing the ground to see if more could be found.
  Our tour ended with a tasting.  I enjoyed the nosing test at the beginning and I liked the scents from some of the ones we tried, I was not a fan of the taste of any of the ones I tried.  The first and the third I tried weren’t horrible, but I probably would never drink them on my own.
  They didn’t let you take any pictures while in the buildings, but that makes sense.  You don’t want to make it easy for anyone to steal your secrets.  I thought Molly made our tour really fun.  She was excited when other people liked her favorites.  Some of the rooms for the various stages smelled really nice, one like bananas and one was like raisins.  It was really fun to see how the stuff was made and they really like the American bourbon casks.

  The boys wanted to stop by the Balvenie distillery, but it turns out they don’t do tastings or sell anything on site.  We took a driving tour of the buildings before someone looked it up and found this out.

  Balvenie Castle was a fun one.  Many places to go up and down stairs that lead to similar places.  The second floor had a bunch of rooms and I had a lot of fun exploring.  I went up some more floors and some guy was ahead of me.  His wife called up asking if that was as high as it went.  He called down that it went up four more floors.  He mouthed a ‘thank you’ when I said “At least” to his comment.  She did not come up.

  We were starting to run out of time to visit things that closed before 5pm.  There was the option to just go back to the hotel or to try and make it to one more distillery.  Of course this means there was franking map searching so we could get to one more.
  Glenfarclas was still open when we got there.  It smelled at lot like all the other ones we had been to.

  Since we were done with all of our adventuring early and had an hour before dinner I decided I wanted to walk down the road and take some pictures of the sheep we saw.  There were no babies in this group, but I did interest them with my camera click noises.  I would get close and they would wonder off a little, then they would hear the click and come back a little.
  Before dinner we got a visit from both Archie and Charlie, who had turned one in July.  I found out that the reason they were in so much trouble the night before was because they managed to get into a bird’s nest.  Hopefully they will be more behaved tonight.

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