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<   BACKUK1999  #27 Scottish Golf & Whisky TrailNEXT  >

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Date: 8/5/99

        Very happy to leave Edinburgh, we drive north over the bridge that crosses the Firth of Forth (Firth = bay or long inlet) and shortly arrive in the little hamlet that is a Jerusalem to those who love golf, St. Andrews (San'andrews). It is very charming and we visited the Old Course and had lunch in the Club (best corn fritters I've eaten in years). Not interested in playing a round, we drove north across the Firth of Tay to Dundee and then a long drive up the coast to Aberdeen. Neither much to see but beautiful scenery on the way. Half way across the peninsula through the Grampian Mountains heading northeast, we gave up at a cute small little town called Huntly. The hotel, the Gordon Arms, was quaint and wonderful and the food was surprisingly good. Marcia had a fabulous Aberdeen steak that was brought sizzling on a hot iron skillet (ala fajitas).
I was able to run before dinner and made it to the river and Huntly castle (ruins) built by a devout Catholic backer of Mary Queen of Scotts.
Continuing northeast toward Inverness the next morning we land in the "Napa Valley" of Scotch single malt whisky, Speyside or the Spey River Valley which mandates a tour and a tasting. There are 60 distilleries here and we decided on the Chivas brothers, Strathsfyla distillery, the one that invented the blend of Chivas Regal. Seagrams bought them in '49 along with 7 other ones. Seeing how they make this potent stuff was interesting, tasting it was another thing, We're not a big Scotch fans.
We then finished the westerly trek to Inverness the capital of the Highlands and spent some time there. Then north across the Moray Firth and see all the oil drilling platforms that they build here for shipping out to sea (they build them out in the water - in the Firth). We cross 2 more firths and decide to quit at Dornoch on the coast. My run from town to the beach was breathtaking and cool, the weather making a dramatic change from the sunny day we had since Huntly. We stayed at the Dornoch Castle and had dinner there - very good. We are now into the age old concept of travelers stopping at an inn to sleep and be fed. After dinner we decide to actually have a full Scotch and after she quit, the owner of the castle starts buying me McKewens lager and asking me questions on religion. He is very interested in being Christian. We had an interesting chat needless to say. I made him promise me, that before he came to his final decision, that he travel the 50 miles to the closest RC priest and have a chat. He started out as a chemist and after 20 yrs running the castle hotel he wants to sell it.
Now we have got to get to the North coast of Scotland and make up for lost time.
Att: Marcia sniffing and tasting at Strathsfyla (Chivas)
Below: St. Andrews Old Golf Course
 

KJH                                                                                     Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #28 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

KHofferMD@AOL.com            RETURN TO INDEX

Dornoch, Scotland

Sent 8-5-99

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