Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dunkeld Cathedral, Blair Atoll Distillery, Inverness Day 5 #VisitScotland #goaheadtours #Inverness

Monday morning March 23-up early for our 8:30 departure for the Highlands from Edinburgh. We pause for a group photo on the steps of the hotel.
Crossing the River Forth we make our way into Fife-The Kingdom of Fife-home of the Picts.

We make our way into Perthshire-the gateway to the Scottish Highlands.
Our stop here includes a guided tour of the Church of Scotland Dunkeld Catherdral. The Cathedral is a mix of Gothic and Norman styles and was built in several stages over more than 200 years, from 1260-1501.
One thing we found fascinating was each window has a different style (see above.)

The Church is still used today for services and concerts (the acoustics were amazing!)

Back on the bus, we head to Pitlochry. We have some time to poke around. Jay knows of a Fish Ladder in town so we set off to find it.
Unfortunately it was closed for cleaning, and as Jay informed me it was early for the salmon run. But we did see two hopeful fishermen.
Our fish ladder hunt had used up most of our free time so instead of a sit down lunch we opted for a box lunch from Hettie's Tearoom.
Just down the road is Blair Atholl Distillery (Bell's Whisky). The Distillery was closed for cleaning so we watched a DVD and then Ian showed us how to properly enjoy a single malt.
We missed meeting Joanna Lumley (star of Ab Fab-one of my favorite BBC shows!) by hours. She was helping a Barrel Race-Help 4 Heroes to raise funds for war veterans. The actress was at Blair Athol Distillery in Perthshire on Monday to begin the Bell's Barrel of Laughs — a 517-mile (832km) celebrity barrel-rolling relay to raise money for Help for Heroes.

We also didn't get to see Blair Castle-I guess they weren't open until after Easter so we headed into the Highlands making our way to Inverness.

The scenery along the way was quite dramatic. If you're a fan of the Starz TV series Outlanders-you'll know this.


We made our way to The Royal Highland Hotel in the heart of Inverness-our base for the next couple of days. Our room was tiny-in the old servants quarters and our stall shower was smaller than a phone booth. Picture taking a show in an airplane's lavatory. But it was quiet and we knew we'd get a good night's sleep but first-dinner.

On my list were two restaurants The Mustard Seed and Hootanannay. The Seed was booked so Hootananny it was! (We made reservations for Tuesday night at The Mustard Seed.)

Remember this face, our very cool bartender is an actor! He's in the current movie version of Macbeth (naked!) and is also a stunt man in Outlander-he's a Red Coat-but we still loved talking with him!
He's leaving the Hootananny in a week to work on another film!

Dinner was GREAT! I had the Highland Beef and Red Kite Ale pie. Jay had the  North Sea Haddock Fish and Chips.

I tired the Old Pulteney 12 year old single malt

And Jay discovered Black Isle Brewery!

For dessert I had the "Porter in the Pudding" most excellent! With a wee pint of the Black Isle Organic Porter!


More images: http://photosbynanci.smugmug.com/Scotland-2015/Inverness/Dunkeld-Cathedral-Blair-Atholl

Next up: Culloden and Fort George!


Edinburgh and the Castles of Scotland
Day 5 March 23 Dunkeld Cathedral, Pitlochry, Blair Atoll Distillery, Highlands, Inverness
Go Ahead Tours
March 19-30, 2015
Copyright ©2015 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
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