Travel Report

1st Club tour to bonnie Scotland

October 18th - 22nd, 2002
Oban, Argyll

day 1 , day 2 , day 3 , day 4 , day 5

Day 4

After all - today we have true scottish weather. As we look outside the window, there's the typical scottish drizzling, inclusive strong winds. But - think positive - it is not so cold anymore: plus 4 degrees C. Hungry we sit at the breakfast table and enjoying our "Full Scottish Breakfast". Today we want to visit another Hebredian isle that we have before our eyes all time long: MULL. We have a date at the Tobermory Distillery. Because of the higher outside temperatures we don't have to scratch the ice from our car, which is standing on the yard . But the car's glasses are fogged inside.
Normally the Oban - Mull connection is very good and so we are at the ferry terminal at 9 a.m. As we want to buy the ticket at the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry terminal building the new winter time table beats us a second time.

The go-there connection is still like in summer at 10 a.m. but we had planned the return at 3 p.m. and this connection has been canceled in winter. the 5 p.m. ferry is too late for us because we have another date at Oban distillery and want to buy some salmon at the Inverawe Smokery & Fishery to take home. We start crisis talkings. Beneath the Oban - Craignure (Mull) timetable with fares. after a number of discussions the kind woman at the counter suggests us a complete differen return trip: Not directly back to Oban, but via Morvern !!!
That meant to realize a true "isle hopping" So we study another 2 time tables: Beneath the Fishnish (Mull) - Lochaline (Morvern) time table with fares. Be beleave that we could catch the 2:10 p.m. ferry at Fishnish Point and would have enough time at the Tobermory Distillery - but not for more. Than we think forward: If the ferry arrives at 2:24 p.m. at Lochaline and we make it in 35 minutes across Morvern we can catch the 3 p.m. Corran Ferry.

So we would have enough time to go to Inverawe to buy some smoked salmon and to be in time at our meeting at the Oban distillery. Beneath the Corran Ferry time table with fares. So - as said it will be done. We buy the tickets for the first 2 ferries and queue for the ferry at line 2. Our vessel has the name "Isle of Mull". We don't have to wait for long because making the plans took some time. We dirve the car into the vessels womb. We go to the passengers area and have a comfortable time in the thick uphostered sofas. We have enough place there.
That the vessel departs. We go to the vessels rear and have a quite good panoramic view overOban bay with the city "skyline" from sea. On top of the hill McCaig's Tower.
The ferry makes speed and so we leave the protected Oban bay and pass the Isle of Kerrera. Now the strong wind whips the rain around our faces and the mighty vessel starts rocking. We keep staying outside for some more time and take some photos of the rear side of Kerrera Island with Oban at the background. As it becomes too much for us we return to out comfortable sofa and have a drink. We also buy some postcard, write some senteces, which is quite difficult because of the waves. As some further highlights we starboard can see the Southern Lismore lighthouse and opposite Duart Castle at the Isle of Mull .

Because of the heavy rain we have to switch the windshield wipers to maximum. There are huge waves with whitecaps on the water. A nice poster welcomes us to the isle. So at once the famous isle feeling gets us !!! Another time the saying "We don't have any time left !!!" is to be heared and we start into Tobermory direction. We pass the complete east coast of the isle with partly very slow cars in front of us that can't be overtaken on a Single Track Road if they don't let it happen.
The loudspeaker says that we have to enter the car deck to get into the car because we still arrived in CraignureP. The locks are opened and we leave the vessel on the Isle of Mull. The weather is not very different here.
At 11:20 a.m. we arrive in Tobermory, a lovely small harbour town at the north eastern corner od the isle. Remarkable are the coloured houses at the esplanade and the clock tower.
We park the car directly at the esplanade and walk through the heavy rain to the distillery that is at start of the Tobermory esplanade where the main road comes down the hill.

As all the other visitors had left the room a sign "Back in a few minutes." is placed at the door. we are leaving the the visitor center through the back door and are at the inner courtyard. Our private guided tour brings us to the mash tons and to the Pot Stills. There are 2 Wash Stills and 2 Spirit Stills. The condensors are also INSIDE the still room just behind the stills. We get to know something about the very interesting history of the distillery and that, for instance, the Tomermory malts are not at all stored on the Isle of Mull but near Perth in central Scotland. We finish the distillery tour at the entrance gate (picture below) and are asked to re-enter the visitor center.
Happily we stand in front of the small Tobermory Distillery Visitor Center which is crowded with people. After we outed us as members of the Single Malt Whisky Club we are asked to wait some minutes.

In a room at the back we watch a video movie about the distillery (picture below) and we get a (not too small) dram of "Tobermory" and another dram of "Iona" for tasting. For this purpose we ask for some Nosing & Tasting glasses.

Iona is a new product of the Tobermory distillery that is heavy peated like the "Ledaig" but a little bit more special. We buy a bottle for the club. Now we have something at the club that ist not available in Germany !!!

On our way back to the car we remark a small statue possibly the "small mermaid of this isle ? If one of the readers knows more abaout it, please let us know. Now time runs out: "We don't have any time left !" We have to hurry to get to the Fishnish Point to catch the ferry. The speed is slightly a little bit higher than it is normally at a Single Track Roads. 15 minuten before the ferry departure we are there. We want to have something to ear in the small kitchen at the pier but after a critical view over the sea the the cook says
We buy a pair of Tobermory caps and some more small items and for the club we get a bar towel and some peat and some malted barley as a present. Finally we can say, a very good event. We have to say bye bye and start a hurried (because of the weather) sight seeing of the coloured houses at the esplanade. In a tea room we have a good hot tea.

that there's not enough time to produce something. So we have only a bacon roll. Left: The northern part of the Isle of Mull between Tobermory and Fishnish Point.
On board this small vessel we have to keep in the car, there's no passenger area. We are using this break to eat something to get enough energy for the coming event. 2:25 p.m. we arrive at the Scottish Mainland, more strictly speaking in Lochaline on the Morvern peninsual. Morvern is a nearly unpopulated area, except of some crofts and some smaller castles with wide glens and impressive braes. Morverns is connected to the Scottish Mainland at its north eastern end near Fort William. We have got exactly 35 minutes to cross the Morvern peninsula from Lochaline to Ardgour - Corran Ferry. "Now we have really no time left at all !" We are a group of 3 cars that are trying the impossible: First is a BT Jeep, second is a blue Ford Focus and third: we. The first two are driving this kind of fast on Morverns Single Track Roads that Jens hast to give all to keep in track.
We request everything from our Peugeout. Nevertheless the other two are faster and drive away. We can catch them shortly before Ardgour. Kai creates another saying: "One drives, one films and the third is sick !" David means, Achterbahn is nothing against what we are doing here. right: Our todays journey route.

Result of this racing is that we can see the ferry leaving. None of our three has made it - long faces. The ferryman has started the vessel too early. Now we are here at the Ardgour (Morvern) Inn near the pier and have to wait another 30 minutes. Our stomachs are getting qieter with the time. We watch a cyclist who doesn't know where to be save from the rain and the storm. because of this delay we have another leak of time. "We have not time indeed !" Additional the petrol runs out.
Despite of all we try to realise all the action points we had planned. So we speed drive further, now on a normal road that we know very good. It is the A828 southbound to Connel. Kai remarks to fill in some petrol ! We do so at the ESSO station on the A 85 near Inverawe Smokery & Fishery. This is still open and we buy some packs of the lelicious and cheap salmon pieces. Than we hurry to Oban. 2 minutes after 5 p.m. we arrive at the distillery - puh. From the chairman of the Visitor Center we get som Oban Distillery flyers and some Malted Barley.
Now we want to by some items to bring with us, not knowing that most of the High Street shops are closing at 5 p.m. Some things we can get anyway and Jens visits Anne MacPhail another time. (refer day 1) ab. We are happy that the TESCO and COOP supermarket stores are opened a little bit longer and append a short shopping tour there.

David is tired and so only Kai and Jens go for a last pub tour in Oban (photos). On our way home to the B&B we are "guided" by a very drunk scotsman. Returned at the B&B we pack the luggage for tmorrow. In our room lots of clothing, results of our shopping tours, and things that we bought and got for present for the club. Other than at the previous days today we go to bed very early. (before midnight !) Strictly speaking, this is the end of our trip to Scotland. Tomorrow there will be only the retour journey.

(C) Single Malt Whisky Club Württemberg e.V. - Jens Burkhardt - Chairman
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day 1 , day 2 , day 3 , day 4 , day 5