The beauty of Islay

As you have probably already found out, in 2014 I visited Scotland with the main purpose to do an exhaustive tour of whisky distilleries. As any respectable peathead would do, I included Islay (home to Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Kilchoman, Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila) in this tour.

The main idea was that this is the place where the best whiskies are made. We were ready to sacrifice the general principles of travel (good quality accommodations, fair prices, decent food, nice weather, etc) just for the sake of visiting those specific distilleries.

Most fortunately for us, there was much more to Islay than just the wiskies. It is almost incredible how everything on this small island is ‘just right’, how warm and welcoming the people are (probably in order to overcome the harshness of the weather), the landscapes were beautiful and the weather just right. Judging by the standards of our part  of the world, the June weather was a briliant autumn weather 🙂 .

Here is a bunch of interesting shots and topics from Islay that were not directly linkable to distilleries:

The Kildalton Cross popped up as a destination to visit after our visit at Ardbeg Distillery, where we had found the new fad for the year (the Ardbeg Kildalton). This means that the NHI – Glenmorangie collaboration is working as supposed to (see previous link).

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The Kildalton Cross, Islay

This is the secret of Islay, how all the whiskies here get their highly distinctive characteristics: THE PEAT !

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Freshly cut peat on the roadside in Islay. This is burned in chimneys to stop the germination process of the barley – to malt it for the whisky.
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Freshly cut peat on the roadside in Islay. This is burned in chimneys to stop the germination process of the barley – to malt it for the whisky.
islay - 004 - turbarie
Freshly cut peat on the roadside in Islay. This is burned in chimneys to stop the germination process of the barley – to malt it for the whisky.

When sailing away from Islay we found these hidden castles on the shore, close to Jura Island. So reclusive, so peaceful, so elegant:

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Hidden castle on the shores of Islay

And finally, two wallpapers with a Bridgend Sunset :

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Sunset in Bridgend, Islay, view towards Bowmore. 720p
bridgend - wallpaper - 01 - 1440 x 00
Sunset in Bridgend, Islay, view towards Bowmore. 1440×900 (mac size)

There are several earlier posts from this trip here on watcher.ro, and I promise there are A LOT more posts from this trip coming up, so be sure to subscribe and have them automatically delivered when they are pressed ( by email or via RSS).

Until then, have a look around for more travel photos from around the world!

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