Friday, May 21

A beautiful Islay

My vacation is over. It was short, but sweet. Together with my brother and his wife the four of us went to visit an island in the Atlantic. Well, maybe it is not really considered the Atlantic yet. It was just a short but lovely ferry ride from the Scottish mainland to the island of Islay.

The island was beautful! Rugged Scottish slopes, misty moors, plenty of sheep, and, to my surprise, loads of sunshine. I actually managed to get some sunburn. The picture below is from north west shore overlooking nearby island Jura.

Although it is worth visiting for its own beauty it is actually known for only one thing. It is home to some of the best Single Malt Whiskeys. Caol Ila, Bruichladdich, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Bowmore and Bunnahabhain are all made there. And even a few more I didn't know about yet. I was sort of expecting these distilleries to be big-ish efficient factories. But they are small hidden away gems in the landscape. All of them are very welcoming to visitors, and we sampled quite a bit.

But in Bowmore, the administrative and shopping capital of Islay, is a pub called Duffies. It is not that hard to find. There are only two pubs, and it is not that other one. Duffies has the most impressive collection of Whiskeys. The ones on the picture are all from Islay. Other than two pubs the town had a restaurant, a Spar, and Co-op, and a bank. It was the ultimate in laid back island life. It got only disturbed when a tour bus with 20 clueless tourists came bursting through the bar.

Besides debating which Whiskey was better we had time to explore the island on foot and other random wanderings before heading to the next distillery. The whole vacation got triggered by a bottle of Laphroig we bought a year or two ago. It comes with a certificate of ownership of a square foot of land outside their distillery. The next picture is on the way there. We claimed our square foot, and received a bottle of whiskey as payment for the rent.

Yesterday we drove back home again. It was quite far, but I would love to go back again some day.


  1. Sunday I am off to India for work. So expect other non-game update next week.

  2. he he he, Scotland when it's not raining can be so very nice. Same as with Norhtern Whales really.
    Ilse of Islay, I think that forms the norhtern border of the Irish Channel, so depending on which way you were looking you were either seeing that channel or the North Atlantic :-)

    I never did get to see the isle. We did go to isle of Skye a bit further north. While Islay has the Whiskey, Skye has the alcoholics to drink it. probably a good thing there's a pretty cold sea in between :-)

    Glad to hear you've had a great time there and I'll know who to ask for a camping spot if i ever find myself i those parts again.

  3. May I correct you a tiny wee bit? The bar is called Duffies. And it's a great place ;-)

    Great to read you enjoyed your visit, hopefully you'll get a chance to return one day.

  4. You sure that isn't "the other one" Geek?
    Oh and I love the sign on the bar :-)

  5. Oh, shame on me! I have corrected it. Thanks Armin.