Thank crunchie it's Friday today, these four day weeks sometimes seem to drag on longer than a normal week. Time now to go back and see what happened on the next day of our honeymoon in Scotland....
Wednesday 22nd December 2004
Having arranged a tour of a local distillery, we we're up nice and early to get there for the agreed time of 10am. The Tomatin distillery was easy to find, just off the A9, on arrival we left Lucy in the car watching a fork lift moving casks around. After being greeted by a lovely lady in the visitors centre we settled down to watch a video all about the distillery, showing how whisky was made and where the all important water comes from. Although production had been stopped for the Christmas break, we still had a tour, taking us through the malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturing stages. They had some casks dated 1965 and they weren't sure if they would bottle these in 2005 as a 40 year old malt or leave them for another 10 years, whatever they do, we'd probably have to re-mortgage the house to buy a bottle!
The last stage of the tour was my favourite, the tasting! Debbie just had little sip being the designated driver, while I downed both drams! Next job was to empty the shelves in the shop, I think our guide for the day was amazed at the number of bottles we were putting on the counter!
So, having brought a few bottles home, I can tell you that the Tomatin malt is lovely and their deluxe blended whisky, Antiquary, is lovely and smooth. Talisman, which they also produce is also quite nice, although we drank most of that with coke. The last bottle we got, another blended one, Big T, wasn't a patch on the others and only really any good for mixers.
Leaving the distillery behind we headed off to Inverness, we were planning to a bit of shopping there but at the last minute decided to miss that out and carry on to Loch Ness. We took the main road from Inverness that goes right along the Western side of the loch, stopping at all the lay-by's on the way down. We've seen the loch on television before but you just have to be there to really appreciate just how huge it is. All the way down, we were in a race with a car full of Japanese tourists would were also stopping at every lay-by and clicking away ..lol..
We stopped at the South end of the loch in Fort Augustus and found a small cafe for some lunch. Next we headed back North on the minor road following the East shore of the loch, meaning to follow this all the way up but about 10 miles in we took a wrong turn, which in the end was for the best as this took us back to the A9 and it was getting late. Nessie never did make an appearance, except in the visitor centre, where there are hundreds of little Nessies to choose from ..lol..
Back at the cabin, we watched the news and the weather forecast, it wasn't looking very good for Friday (Christmas Eve) with strong winds and snow so we made the decision to set off home a day early on Thursday morning.
We had a clear run most of the way home, the Forth Bridge was a bit hairy though, with the wind blowing and closed to all but cars.
Back home, we were relived to find everything as we left it and had a quick brew before going off to pick up the Three Amigos. The lady at the cattery was sad to see them go, Misty and Toddy had been so lovable all week and Eric had been having everyone in stitches with his antics! Back home with the zoo, it was time to put the feet up, have some tea, a stiff drink and chill while trying not to think about a mad shopping day on Christmas Eve.