Determined to see something other than the city of Edinburgh, we booked what we thought was a whisky-tasting adventure. Did I misread the brochure? It quickly became a rollicking ride through the highlands.
Heading for Dunkeld
Our minibus drove north across the Forth and through miles of level farmland. Initially, we were excited to spot a few sheep, but the novelty wore off. Did my fellow passengers doze? Perhaps.
We drove along the River Tay as the forests replaced farms. After a quick stop in Dunkeld, known for its famous bridge, we drove on to our morning’s destination.
That destination, the morning’s highlight, was a stop at the Hermitage, a pleasure park designed for the Duke of Atholl in the 1700s. It’s at the confluence of the Tay and the River Baarn. I stopped to take a photo of the railway bridge (Scotland has a lot of bridges) and lost sight of my group.
The good news is I didn’t get lost as the path followed the river! The bad news is I missed the commentary given by our guide. Still, after living in arid Southern California, the lush forest was a welcome sight. All of Scotland was very green.
One of the sites noted on the trail was Ossian’s Hall. I arrived to find a circular folly built on a bridge. I shot the above image from the folly. Alas, I had no time to linger. I was trying to meet up with my tour at the Penny Stump.
Colin, our guide, told us we had to leave a coin to appease the fairies. Perhaps this is true, but I suspect the authorities don’t appreciate this tradition. Who collects all these coins? Still, I left one. Who wants to get on the wrong side of a fairy?
For many in our party, the most appealing attraction on the highland tour was visiting a distillery and the whisky tasting. We did this after lunch, so there was no chance a sip of whisky would go to anyone’s head.
The only drawback to this event was that the distillery didn’t allow photography. We marched up and down stairs reviewing the distilling process, but you’ll have to take my word for it. The sip of Scotch afterward almost made up for all that rushing about. Oh, despite the lack of photos, I confess that I still purchased some Scotch. If you’re curious about how Scotch Whisky is made, check out my 2017 post about Edradour.
Please click here to see more images from the drive to the Highlands.