Travel Report

2nd club trip to Scotland

March 23. - 28. 2011
Prestwick, Gourock, Edinburgh,
Speyside, Inverness, Skye, Mull, Iona, Oban Argyll

Theme: "Scotland in a Nutshell"

day 0 , day 1 , day 2 , day 3 , day 4 , day 5

day 5: Oban Distillery, Inverawe, Inverary , journey Edinburgh, return flight Poznan, rail journey in Poland and back to Dresden.

Monday, March,28th, 2011. Last day in Scotland. This is the day Jens fought for during the planning. The program is really mighty again: Oban Distillery, buy smoked salmon at Inverawe, McCaig's Tower, Kilchurn & Inveraray Castle, Edinburgh Airport. Lets hope that the return flight takes place in time and that we are in time at Poznan main rail station for the train to wroclaw. Finally the drive to Dresden. lets hope everything works as planned...

Oban, Mc Caig's Tower and buy smoked salmon at Inverawe

As the program is too heavy to resolve completely and as Jens already was at Mc Caig's Tower, we decide to split the group this morning: Heike and Jens go to Inverawe to buy smoked salmon - and Konrad and Ralf walk uphills to Mc Caig's Tower. Lets accompany Konrad and Ralf at first. For both of them this day starts where the yesterday one finished: at the Oban pier.

Somewhere else memorial tablets are to be found. In Oban it is different: A memorial bench...

at the harbour we find this old fishing boat, which surely had better days before.

The street curl along the hill with the nice old houses.

Finally we reach the small parking place from where the walkway to the gate of Mc Caig's Tower starts. here we find also lots of wilde daffodils.

... with this memorial tablet , that remembers to John Stuart Mc Caig.

It is still quiet at the Oban Esplanade. at this photo we see the rod with a Webcam on it.

... and for a closer look the momorial table at the bench.

Then they start climbing the hill: These signs show the way to Mc Caig's Tower. Its a steep hill.

Also at this hill: This smaller church.

The gate arch ...
Inside the rotunda we find a small park with meadows, flowers, bushes, and benches. An ideal area to have a picnic - if only we had a little bit more time.

...we have great view over Oban!

At the seaside of the rotunda there's a viewpoint on the outside: One can go through a gate arch and then...

In detail the Oban city centre , the chimney belongs to the distillery.

Views from McCaig's Tower: panoramic photo of Oban bay - the Isle of Kerrera in the background.

This happens not everyday: in front of the clouds: Kerrera - behind the clouds: the mountains of Mull

We can't get enough of this dramatic scenery.

Inbetween the ferry (maybe the one we took yesterday) reached the edge of Kerrera. left Kerrera - right in the foreground Oban/Corran Brae - right in the background Lismore, behind Morvern - left in the extreme background Mull What a view !

As it is this nice - here again with zoom: in front Kerrera and behind it the Lismore lighthouse !


after that we need something to eat: Fish & Chips shop in Oban .

A very kind woman is at the other side and says that yes - it is possible to buy some salmon slices (which we want because of the goo price value). We should only walk along the main way until a large green hall appears. Said - done. It is far, very far, we should have taken the car. so we relayx a little bit at the good air and the uncountable wilde daffodils around us.

much less spectacular the morning goes on for Heike and Jens: As we arrive at Inverawe Smokery & Fishery the Kiosk is rebuilt completely. Sad faces: "There's no salmon - no sales today." a worker says. Jens brought with him the Smokery & Fishery phone numberand so we could call the office.

After some searches we finally find the main entry to the hall and we are very kindly served at this counter . All salmon wishes are fulfilled. Happynes at the end. now we have to hurry to get back to the car and then drive quickly back to Oban.

Ralf and Konrad are just waiting at the Oban Distillery entrance, where Heike and Jens come from. They couln't know that the salmon shopping was this difficult.

here they established a small exhibition about the local history, with a wagon with malted barley...

Some more people arrive and then the guided tour starts. Unfortunaltely it is not allowed to take photos. They say it could be dangerous to use flashes.

We as Whisky Club members get an especially warm welcome and head to the visitor cebtre room of the Distillery ein.

... a Camera Obscura, with which one can watch what happens at Oban Bay ...

Finally as we reach the old Warehouse which serves as a museum today and contains some casks we are allowed to take out the cameras.

Now dear readers you can learn something about storing malt whisky: This graphic at the warehouse museum shows how the aromas change inside the cask during maturation time...

And finally after the tour we get a Wee Dram back at the visitor centre in front of the famous wall where we take the neccessary "We have been here" photo.

The grumblicng about the photodeniy is compensed with an extra dram an a nosing test of new make.

... and this collection shows the change of the colour in different cask types during the time.

We leave Oban northbound on the A85. Theres no time for sadnes. Right behind Oban the visitor attractions begin: 1. Highlight: Connel Bridge, which we passed 2 days ago in total darknes.

It is right high noon and we have to head to Edinburgh Airport. We hurry to our car. There are some sights art the itinerary that Jens decided to go and we need some time for them.

... Connel Bridge seen from Taynult

From a little bit more eastern: Connel Bridge with the mountains of Mull in the background ! Simply great.

There' no time to stay here. we go via the historic Pass of Brander eastbound down to Loch Awe.

... Behind it the mountins of the Ben Cruachan group....

behind the village Lochawe we turn to the right onto the A819. Going along this street one can have the best view to die Ruine von Kilchurn Castle ...

These signs at the viewpoint make clear that it might be dangerous to come nearer without beeng well prepared and equiped.

Going via the high area of Tullich we come to Inveraray with its remarkable tower .

The castle is closed but we wouldn't have time to visit it anyway. So we walk and look around a little bit. We go to the right hand side of the castle...

especially nice it the entry bridge of the castle.

and the bridges stairs

But this is not what we are interested in. It is the decent home of Clan Campbell, the Dukes of Argyll: Inveraray Castle.

... and to left hand side of the castle.

A very impressing architecture is the design of its roof

From the parking place we have this nice view over the daffodil meadows to the old arch bridge and to Loch Fyne.

The route takes us on the A83 along entlang des Loch Fyne. After driving around the north-eastern edge of the Loch the road strongly climbs the hill to the Pass "Rest and be Thankful". This is really its name.

We go on the the A82 to Alexandria (yes, this also is the real name of the town) and there we turn to the left onto the much quieter A811. Near Amprior village we stop at a grill wagon, that is there since ancient times and the Jens knows for many years. We have to try Haggis before we leave Scotland - and here at the grill wagon it is not too bad, see the movie. Now the road goes directly to Stirling. Stirling Castle in its full beauty right in front of us.

A raw and lonely area with high level Lochs at the pass. At the other side the road falls down to Loch Long and then near Tarbetwe reach the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.

On the left we we see the Highlands all the time and before Stirling we reach the Motorway M9, which brings us rapidly to the Edinburgh area. Despaired we look for a supermarket, to spend the last pounds - we find it in Broxburn. Finally we are at the airport about 90 minutes before departure. We return the car and check in. Jens is relieved - all driving went on without any problems. He drove about 1500 miles within 5 days ! So we think it is OK to have a final beer at the airport which we kept until now.

Then the run to the Ryanair plane starts. lets hope theat the aircraft arrives in time.

Above the clouds we loose about 15 minutes.

we really enjoy this great drink!

Inside the Ryanair aircraft it looks like this. The start is right as planned.

if the pilot dreamed beacause this great sunset above the clouds we don't know.
The remains of the journey is quickly described: The check out including the luggage reclaim in Poznan was extremely quick. as we had been concerned because of the flight delay no be too late for the night train, we get new hope. Now: Catch the luggage jump outside the airport building; catch the first available taxi; luggage into the rear trunkand then we had to inform the driver who spoke either english nor german nor russian, first what our destination is - this was quite easy - and second to hurry - this was too difficult. At the end Jens displayes our railway ticket. Now the driver says "Oh-Kay" and he went on. Speed limits in town, red traffic lights, etc. were nice to have. How ever - we are at the main station 15 minuten BEFORE departure of the train - see movie. Now we are really relaxed - Jens' planning worked thank god. A kind polishman helped us finding the right departure platform. The train comes in time and we have a nice cabin for ourselves which the kind polishman also organized for us. We invite him for a scottish roll with finest Scottish Smoked Salmon - bought this morning in Inverawe. arriveing in Wroclaw Konrad, Heike and Ralf are really bussy to jump outside the train - not at wroclaw main station but at Wroclaw-somewhere-else. Jens shouted but he had to follow. Then we stay at the very lonely place in front of the railstation. Nothing except a small park and some skyscappers. Ralf finds a little bit more bussy road and really makes it to catch a taxi, that brings us to the airport. There Ralfs and Heikes car waits for us at the private car park. We pay the bill and then Ralf starts the engine to bring us to Dresden. It is about 2 a.m. at night as we are back at home.
We think it is not possible to pack more into a journey like this. This is our "Scotland in a nutshell" trip. We are overcrowded with impressions and will be able to tell a lot of things that happed during this trip. Maybe the reader could get some ideas for an own trip to Bonnie Scotland.

(C) Single Malt Whisky Club Sachsen e.V.- Report: Jens Burkhardt; Photos and Films: Jens Burkhardt, Konrad Rosenbaum, Heike and Ralf Schuster
Usage of the material not permitted except there is a written permission by the club, by the author or by the photographers.

day 0 , day 1 , day 2 , day 3 , day 4 , day 5