August 11, 2012

Confessions of the Euro-fluenced: Days 32-33

Pitlochry, Scotland is known as the "Gateway to the Highlands."

Even though it wasn't as far north and into the Highlands as some people go, it gave us a taste of beauty without the extra travel time.

Again, no expectations = a great time.

A private room with a great view, a great hostel, a bustling main street, and a little bit of whiskey helped make these two days fun and relaxing.

Upon arrival we headed to Pitlochry's main seasonal attraction: a salmon ladder. Apparently, salmon think its cool to swim upstream to get it on spawn. This is quite impossible for them to accomplish when mankind builds a dam in their way. So, a salmon ladder is a detour, per say, around the dam. In other words, the salmon ladder is a series of concrete pools filled with dirty water and fish swimming in circles. I'm sure it's EXACTLY just what the horny salmon want.

The river was super pretty though. 

And so was the hike to and from the whiskey distillery (Yes! I actually overcame my chronic laziness and joined Andrew in a little exploration!)

No, but really, this hike was beautiful... Woods, waterfalls, earthy smells, and green everywhere! I do love the woods.

On a surprising note, I enjoyed the whiskey distillery tour. I never knew that the longest part of making whiskey is aging it. I mean, it seems obvious when I say it, but I guess I didn't know just how crucial the aging process is. This particular distillery claims it is the smallest in Scotland and produces in a day what larger distilleries produce in a matter of hours. The coolest thing was their storehouse (refer to pictures)... Rows and rows of casks that date back a few decades. The oldest cask was from 1969 and a bottle will eventually sell for about £50,000 ($75,000 ish). 

Whiskey gets its color and flavor from the cask that it is stored in. And each cask has been previously used to store other kinds of alcohol. So for instance, whiskey that is stored in a cask that at one time stored red wine will have different characteristics than whiskey that is stored in a cask that at one time stored white wine. 

Also, one kind of whiskey burns more than the other. Let's just say I prefer my whiskey on the rocks with a bit of water (aka super watered down).

We also had a fun time with our hostel mates. Apparently, it's pretty common for foreigners to work at a hostel to help learn English. Sometimes its pretty comical what comes out of their mouths. These particular English-learners were eager to try and practice speaking, especially once they learned we were Americans. Specifically, they enjoyed discussing what happened on The Jersey Shore.

We also met Cyril, our new friend from France. He's a filmographer and script writer with high hopes of changing France's movie industry. Hopefully we will get to meet up with him when we go to France!!

>Food 0 (unless whiskey counts!)
>Location 1
>Activities 1
>Comfort 1
>Hostel 1
The FLACH? A very smooth 4 stars.

On our way to Edradour distillery.
View of Pitlochry's main street from our hostel window.
View from the dam/Salmon Ladder.
Excellent coffee and burger!
Foam near the dam/Salmon Ladder.
Not QUITE sure which way to go here...
The whiskey storehouse.
Edradour Whiskey Distillery.
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Our little turret-hostel room! We had a great view!
Two of the older casks:1966 and 1969.

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