• ?
  • Our 2014 Destination: France
  • Subcribe to our RSS feeds Join Us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Add to Circles

    Sunday, April 20, 2014

    ISLE OF ISLAY #2 - THE ISLAND OF THE WHISKY AND OF THE MOST FAMOUS DISTILLERIES OF THE WORLD

    There is a lighthouse at Portnahaven in the Scottish Island of Islay . 


    In the morning you may wake up and it's raining again in the Isle of Islay.

    Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Known as "The Queen of the Hebrides".

    Today, Islay has over 3,000 inhabitants and the main commercial activities are agriculture, malt whisky distillation and tourism.

    Islay is an unmissable place to visit if you are travelling in Scotland.

    There is a lighthouse at Portnahaven and you can continue our tour around this beautiful Scottish Isle from here (click here to read the first part of your tour). 

    The war memorial here is simple, only a cross, but it is worth a visit

    A little farther on, near Port Charlotte, another distillery (after Bowmore - read previous post about Islay), this time is Bruichladdich with its huge copper ampules . 

    Bruichladdich distillery produces mainly single malt Scotch whisky, but it has also to offer artisanal gin. It is owned by Rémy Cointreau (the company producing the famous French Cognac) and it is one of the eight working distilleries currently working on the island of Islay.


    Bruichladdich distillery produces mainly single malt Scotch whisky in the Scottish Island of Islay.


    In 2001 the Bruichladdich distillery was dismantled and reassembled, with the original Victorian equipment retained. 

    Having escaped modernisation, most of the original Harvey machinery is still in use today. No computers are used in production with all processes controlled by a pool of skilled artisans who pass on information orally and largely measure progress using dipsticks and simple flotation devices.

    After having visited Bruichladdich distillery you should move to Bridge End.

    In Bridge End you can discover a small fortress hidden among the vegetation . An old stone tower , ancient cannon barrels abandoned between the branches.


    Ancient cannon barrels abandoned between the branches.


    These ancient cannon barrels should be collected and taken to a museum. 

    Maybe not: in a museum these ancient cannon barrels would receive only a distracted look, here in the leaves they must remain as part of this beautiful island .

    The tide has retreated on the beach in front of Bridge End.

    If you are visiting when the tide is out you should sit down and wait until you see the moon .

    It is an unforgettable experience!

    In the morning, go back to Port Ellen and from there walk up to Ardberg . You will enjoy magnificent views of the cliffs and the sea. Then dozens of islets will appear on the horizon as the boats in the harbour surrounded by the fog will slowly appear just in front of the Ardberg distillery, also with its large ampule of course.

    The Ardbeg distillery has been producing whisky since 1798.

    Ardbeg whisky is considered one of the peatiest in the world, using malt with a phenol content of 55ppm. Absolutely taste it!

    The tide goes out and you can reach those strips of rocks that look like whales in front of Ardberg. 


    The Ardbeg distillery has been producing whisky since 1798 in the Isle of Islay, Western Hebrides, Scotland.


    When the fog disappear from in front of the cliffs, from the sea may appear a dog's head, in reality a small seal. 
    It will probably stare at you and then quietly dive under the water . 

    The beach at Ardberg is a mirror to the pink of the sky in the morning, the birds arrive in groups to find out what the tide has left today for them. 

    Hundreds, thousands of birds come to celebrate the end of the rain. Then the curtain may fall and it may start to rain again. But you will be grateful to the sky if you have managed to see Islay under the rays of the sun.

    If you want to read more about Islay read also Isle of Islay - Where the Devil has nowhere to hide.

    Want to read more about the Scottish Isles?
    Click here to read more about Scotland and the Scottish Isles.

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

    ISLE OF ISLAY - THE ISLAND WHERE THE DEVIL HAS NOWHERE TO HIDE

    The round church of Bowmore where the devil has nowhere to hide. 



    Travelling by ferry from Mainland Scotland the Island of Islay is fast approached.

    Whitewashed cottages illuminate the landscape, grey of the mist and rain. Then the orange Coast Guard boat and the dock. 

    Three rams with long and curled horns will probably observe you dragging your luggage up to your B & B.

    After getting rid of your burden, you should walk along the beautiful beach near Bridge End and walk along the road until you reach a church in which the devil just can not hide. You will be in Bowmore.


    Arriving at Islay by ferry.
    The Harbour at Ardberg

    Why the Devil cannot hide in Bowmore Church?

    Very simple: because there is nowhere to hide!

    At the village of Bowmore on the Iland of Islay the church is round and someone has thought of this trick of building a round  church so to deprive the devil of every corner or crevice for refuge. 

    At Bowmore on the Isle of Islay, however, perhaps a round church was not needed, the devil, if really had to get here, definitely would go to hole himself up at the famous Bowmore Whisky Distillery. 

    The Bowmore Distillery was established in 1779 by a local merchant, John P. Simpson, before passing into the ownership of the Mutter family, a family of German descent.

    Today  there are twenty Japanese hidden in the famous Bowmore Distillery.

    The distillery is owned by Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd, a holding company owned by Japanese drinks company Suntory. Morrison Bowmore also own the Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch distilleries and produce the McClelland's Single Malt range of bottlings.

    Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Known as "The Queen of the Hebrides".

    Today, Islay has over 3,000 inhabitants and the main commercial activities are agriculture, malt whisky distillation and tourism.

    Islay has eight Malt Whisky Distilleries, most of them located close to Islay's seashore, and they produce some of the finest Malt Whiskies in the world.
    If you leave the church on the hill overlooking the main street of Bowmore that descends to the sea and walk for a while you can reach Port Ellen and it's worth it. 


    Port Ellen on the Island of Islay
    The large Bay at port Ellen
    The beautiful coast of Islay

    Of course with a little 'bit of sunshine all would look even better, but those colored cottages of the little village of Port Ellen on the Island of Islay have their own charm and the White Hart Hotel looks like a nice place to rest for the visitors of this hidden corner of the world. 

    The bay narrows along an imaginary horseshoe. 

    On top of the bay a man of stone, with the Scottish kilt and bonnet, bows his head on his rifle and remember those young men who have left the island and in the battlefields of France and have reached prematurely the immense glory of God.

    It is the monument dedicated to the young men of the island who fought and died during I World War. 

    It stands in front of the open sea.

    No more tears to cry, thirty years later, when even the children of those men have left and have not returned fighting the II World War.


    Port Ellen could not build another stone man. So someone added another list of names at his feet and asked the sea to bring to the dead soldiers a little 'flavor of the Islay whiskeys, which may cancel the war and alleviate his pain! 

    ...click here to continue reading about the Isle of Islay.

    Want to read more about the Scottish Isles?
    Click here to read more about Scotland and the Scottish Isles.