-> 2007 -> Two Weeks On Islay

Sunday, 01/Jul/2007

Two Weeks On Islay

Picture of a sunset on a partly cloudy sky, the sea in the background, a loch (lake) in the foreground

Now, how did this blogging thingy work? After two weeks on Islay with the laptop only switched on the download the pictures from the camera I've almost forgotten how this works. But let me start at the beginning. Just over two weeks ago I drove up to Scotland in pouring rain. Not a good sign, I thought. Only to be welcomed on Islay with the beautiful sunset above.

Picture of a young woman sitting on a bench in front of a row of whitewashed cottages

We stayed at Kilchoman House Cottages on the west coast of Islay. For the first week this was a family holiday. I had picked up my sister on the way up (she had flown in to Glasgow from Germany), my parents joined us two days later. It was my mothers third visit to Islay, my sisters second and my fathers first. The cottages are in a beautiful and very quiet location, large enough for a family.

Picture of a family sitting in chairs made from whisky casks

So what did we get up to? Islay has many beautiful beaches, so we visited a number of them.Picture of a beautiful golden sandy beach in a large bay On the left is Machir Bay on a fantastic sunny day. It was a bit busy, there were at least 10 other people on the one mile long beach. We also visited Sanaigmore Bay with its dunes and great views along the shore. My sister and I went to The Big Strand just below the airport to watch our parents flying in. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time for a visit to Lossit Bay, one of my favourites on Islay.

Picture of a man filling a whisky bottle from the cask, using a valinch

You can't really visit Islay without a visit to at least one distillery. We had an excellent lunch at the Kiln Cafe at Ardbeg. We picked up the rent for our square feets of Islay at Laphroaig. But the highlight of this years distillery visits was at Bruichladdich: As a belated birthday present I filled my own bottle of Bruichladdich Port Charlotte First Cut. There's not much left from the cask, my bottle was #817 out of an expected 950.

Picture of a whisky bottle in the last sunlight during a sunset

While the bottle of Bruichladdich I filled myself remains unopened (I'll leave that for some special occasion, yet to be determined) the odd wee dram of Islay Single Malt was certainly enjoyed during our stay. I can't think of many better places than in the dunes above Machir Bay while watching yet another beautiful sunset.

Picture of a rainbow over crags and a house

Keeping in mind the bad weather and the flooding in England and Wales in June you might wonder how the weather was on Islay during the two weeks. Quite good, actually. During the two weeks I had one very wet and rainy day and one very cloudy and dull day. All other days were at least quite good with some sunshine, we also had several day with absolutely brilliant weather. And even on one of the bad days the sun broke through to provide me with a fantastic rainbow over Kilchoman.

I've been on several great walks, some with my parents and/or my sister, some with other walkers and some on my own. We've seen (and heard) lots of wildlife, in particular birds. My sister and me have taken several hundred pictures and panoramas. A detailed travelogue will follow over the coming weeks and months. But now it's getting late and I need some sleep before returning to work tomorrow. For now I'll leave you with the moon rising over Bowmore:

Picture of the moon rising over a coastal village

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