The Speyside Way Day One: Beginner’s Luck

It was a swankadelic bus from Inverness to Aviemore. The double-decker coach was arranged in tables for four like on a train, not seats in cramped rows. And we had free WiFi and plugs for devices.   The fancypants bus left Inverness at noon and we arrived at the official start of the walk in…

The Whisky Way Prologue: A journey of 80 miles begins with a wee step.

The car license number was FR13XXU. Read as “Friday the 13th Juju.” And a good juju it was. Brand new, fancy transmission, good on mileage. It got us from Southampton to Bath, Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge, York, Edinburgh, Inverness, Findhorn, Orkney, and Skye. A grand total of 2556 miles in one month. Today we left the…

Stupid Wet People

Tomorrow we ditch the car and start to walk the Speyside Way from Aviemore to Buckie. I have never done a long distance walk before, but I love walking so that part is fine. We are staying in hotels, not camping. But still, I am freaking out! My bag is tiny. I have no idea…

Beer and Archaeology in Orkney, Scotland

You can’t drink ruins. But when you drink a beer, you are essentially drinking archaeology. Beer is a tangible, tastable manifestation of human history. Why is beer like archaeology? Both are┬ámodern whispers of the ancient Both are universal Both are diverse Both beg you to dig deeper and explore their mysteries. If weighed on a…

Bonnie Scotland

Spending another month in one of my favorite places to visit: Scotland. This time we rented a car and have been visiting Highland distilleries and historic sites, and are also headed to Orkney. This picture was just taken on my iPhone, so it is dark and fuzzy but I can upload it to the blog…

"Muslims go to Mecca. Swedes go to Islay."

It’s a running joke at the distilleries about the large groups of Swedish men–unfortunately out of shape and gray ones, not boyish blondes–who come to Islay. Like us, they are on pilgrimage for peated malt, and indeed every distillery tour we were on had a Swedish contingency. There were smaller groups of Finns and French,…