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Scotland in “summer” - a short travelblog


Duvel
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16 minutes ago, Duvel said:


Nope … we have a strict “one toy per holiday” policy and little one already got Axl, the axolotl.

 

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You are cruel parent.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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22 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

You are cruel parent.

 


Opinions may differ on that … I know at least one person who thinks otherwise ☺️

 

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@Duvel 

 

on the other hand , 

 

Nessie was coming up.

 

so , options might have been put on the table

 

[ed.:  its been noted the Duval's have a nice new [[sic ]] folding ' Camp Table ' that table ?  how does it fit in the Audi ? ]

 

Fluffy ( the item selected )  or rubbery and slimy Nessie ?

 

just a though

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35 minutes ago, Duvel said:

Opinions may differ on that … I know at least one person who thinks otherwise ☺️

Pure “cupboard love” I would say!😂

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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3 hours ago, Duvel said:

not to speak of the gazillions of tiny mosquitoes that obviously live exclusively on rotting seaweed and tourist blood.

 

They aren't mosquitoes. They are midges, for which Scotland is notorious.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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The next day started very lazy. There is something about waking up in a pleasantly warm tent, opening the front “door” and seeing everything bathed in bright sunshine … I was happy ! 
 

I spend some time reading the food magazines I bought, my wife enjoyed her Outlander novel and even the little one immersed himself in the Scottish folk tale book we got him on Skye …

 

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At one point we finally decided to head out and returned to the western shore of Loch Ness to visit Urquhart castle.

 

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The castle (or better the remains) are an important sight in the Inverness area. What remains of it is well preserved and the exhibitions are full of interesting facts, such as important jobs long forgotten …

 

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There was some artwork distributed over the grounds …

 

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For those who were wondering what we were eating while “on the road”: the 3.99 £ special - sandwich, crisps and softdrink. Todays variety: coronation chicken (very tasty, I might add) …

 

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Some more impressions of the castle and the loch …

 

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How the early campers in this area cooked their food …

 

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This informative signpost made me feel going back to the tent …

 

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Dinner was enjoyed in the warm afternoon sun (22 oc) with …

 

My aperitif …

 

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Local lamb, cooked with celery, garlic and rosemary …

 

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Crackers with leek & chedar dip, pastries, cheeses …

 

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Little one made a friend and they played in our tent, while the grown-ups enjoyed the sunset …

 

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2 hours ago, rotuts said:

ed.:  its been noted the Duval's have a nice new [[sic ]] folding ' Camp Table ' that table ?  how does it fit in the Audi ? ]


It literally folds and it about 70 cm x 35 cm x 5 cm …

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19 minutes ago, Duvel said:

Dinner was enjoyed in the warm afternoon sun (22 oc) with …

Thank heaven you did not get the memo about camp food. I might have camped more than twice if I thought I might be fed like this.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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10 hours ago, Duvel said:

We cleared the car, put everything to dry and headed out to Inverness …

 

 

 

I read those words and had an awful premonition that it would pour down while you were away and you would return to a flooded tent and soaking wet gear. I was so pleased to follow along and find that was NOT the case!  🙂 🙂 

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5 hours ago, Anna N said:

Thank heaven you did not get the memo about camp food. I might have camped more than twice if I thought I might be fed like this.

 

On my first Scottish expedition, an, I believe English, tourist with caravan picked up my traveling companion and myself from an afore mentioned cattle pocked one lane highway.  She warned there was no food to be had in the direction we were going, and she most kindly vouchedsafe what leftovers she had.

 

Her wisdom proved to be correct, save for another kind woman who shared a bucket of milk fresh from her cow.  The second kind woman had never spoken with an American and she assumed from my funny accent that I must be English.  I also shared in a lovely tea for helping with the sheep fank.

 

I only wish I had had a sleeping bag with a full zipper.  If the midges don't get you, there are sharks in the pristine blue waters.

 

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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13 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

On my first Scottish expedition, an, I believe English, tourist with caravan picked up my traveling companion and myself from an afore mentioned cattle pocked one lane highway.  She warned there was no food to be had in the direction w

.  If the midges don't get you, there are sharks in the pristine blue waters.

 

 

 

And sassenachs lurking at the border

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After a brief hiatus we are back online …

 

A beautiful morning - warm and sunny. Perfect for …

 

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This was the day I was looking forward to - distillery visits at two Speyside distilleries 🥳

 

Of course being a German and all, nothing was left to chance. I even brought some Katerfrühstück (some preserved fish in a soucy tomato & pickled cucumber sauce) all the way from Germany, to strengthen my stomach and get ready to buffer the alcohol before the tasting tour …

 

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Little one was entertaining his new-found friend and trying to teach her all the games he had. So much patience in that young girl …

 

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First distillery was Benromach, one of the very few Speyside distilleries that produces a lightly peated whiskey.

 

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They had a lovely visitors center with even more lovely personnel (with the loveliest Scottish accents you could imagine). But then the lovely guide asked: “is anyone here driving ?”, which I unfortunately answered truthfully with “me”. This excluded me automatically from the tasting set after the tour 😪*.

 

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The distillery was very “manual” and the expertise on controlling the process was impressive. I had a talk with one of the distillers that was running around how they determine the change from the methanol-rich forerun to the real distillate in the absence of any proper process control equipment, and his answers (and willingness to share those) were really great. I was impressed …

 

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Filling casks with a hose would be my next dream job. The room,

though well ventilated, was perfumed with the scent of nascent whiskey …

 

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All in all a great visit (minus - of course - the inability to taste). I bought a bottle of a rare expression, filled my tasting samples into a provided kit (for later, they were paid for) and headed to pick up the family for the second visit of the day …

 

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—-

* they were adamant on that: I told them I am a big guy, and three little sips don’t do anything for me, but …

 

 

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@Duvel 

 

very pleased of course .../

 

''   filled my tasting samples into a provided kit  ,,

 

does this mean you got a selection of samples 

 

from the distillery 

 

to sample and evaluate later ?

 

 

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I appreciate your foresight in bringing something to properly line your stomach before imbibing!

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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On 11/14/2022 at 12:10 PM, Duvel said:

For reasons beyond my understanding we just had to visit the most northwestern tip of Skye. A leisurely 1h drive just brought us there and we enjoyed the (actually very nice) scenery.
 

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There were supposedly some puffins to be seen on the cliffs, but we were out of luck. 
 

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A certain lazy 8 year old posing …

 

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We drove on to see Dunvegan castle, ancestral seat of the McLeod clan (anyone seen Highlander ?). 

 

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Some interesting drinking utensils were on display.

 

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As interesting as the castle was, the true gem was the gardens. I have not seen so many flowers in blue as in this place …

 

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By now, the family was starved, so upon return to our castle I prepared linner …

 

First, a little aperitif …

 

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For starters: smoked salmon patê …

 

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First course: local scallops …

 

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Palate cleanser …

 

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Second course: Angus beef …

 

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Dessert for me …

 

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And the first time of the soon daily ritual of fried dough balls with chocolate glaze for the rest of the family …

 

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After games and good night stories we enjoyed the sound of rain on the roof of our tent …

Gotta love a man who can prepare such a repast while camping and make it look 5 star with plastic plates and cups. No judgement here - we've not had small kids for quite a few years but Ikea plastic plates and tumblers can still be found on our shelves and in our RV.

 

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The second distillery of the day was Glen Moray. Truth to be told this was not my choice because of their excellent reputation or exciting products - I chose Glen Moray because they are the only distillery in the area that allowed kids on the tour, and I really want to show the little one what his father enjoys to drink and how it is made.

 

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Glen Moray was far more industrial (with proper process control, a DCS, you name it …), but the tour was well made and little one asked a lot of questions, with about half of them actually related to the tour.

 

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1337 🤣

 

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The most interesting part was the warehouse. Glen Moray is focusing on providing different cask finishes on their products, and they had open casks to showcase the different characters one can imprint onthe basic product. You could sniff & smell the differences.

 

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Accordind to the little one, the port finish was the best. I bought a bottle for his 18th birthday …

 

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They had quite a few warehouses, a contrast to the single one at Benromach …

 

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In the tasting room I added the samples to my drivers kit …

 

By now we had all worked up an appetite and I started preparing linner:

 

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A coupe of snacks, pie, grilled lamb and steamed mussels in garlic sauce. All accompanied by a nice beer in the sunshine …

 

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The day was concluded a bit earlier with a lemon pie (commercial, very good) …

 

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Aaaand a belated sampling for yours truly 🥳

 

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On 11/15/2022 at 9:36 AM, Duvel said:


Nope … we have a strict “one toy per holiday” policy and little one already got Axl, the axolotl.

 

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We took similar precautions when traveling with our young daughters. We gave them a modest "souvenir budget" so any time they asked for anything, we'd say "you have money." They became quite discerning.

 

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11 minutes ago, rotuts said:

@Duvel 

 

very pleased of course .../

 

''   filled my tasting samples into a provided kit  ,,

 

does this mean you got a selection of samples 

 

from the distillery 

 

to sample and evaluate later ?

 

 


Yes, correct. You get some little bottles in which you can fill your samples to take home.

 

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Scotland does have a reasonable alcohol limit for drivers, but it seems that the distilleries have an internal 0/00 policy, which in retrospect I find a sensible choice …

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Duvel said:

they are the only distillery in the area that allowed kids on the tour, and I really want to show the little one what his father enjoys to drink and how it is made.

 

Brilliant!  Plus he can drive home so win/win for you 😬

 

23 minutes ago, Duvel said:

I bought a bottle for his 18th birthday …

What a cool idea!

 

Steamed mussels are one of my favorite things.  I haven't had them in years.  

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