Edradour and Stirling Castle

The Outlander tour from Inverness was the highlight of Inverness.  I truly wish there had been more time.  As much as I liked Edinburgh, I loved Inverness.  There was a quieter feel to it, a little slower and more relaxed.  I could have spent two weeks there, taking my time seeing the sights.  I was truly sorry to leave, but our time was up.  We said our goodbyes and began the long drive back to Edinburgh.

The drive was beautiful.

At the last minutes we decided to try to stop at a whiskey distillery, and we chose Edradour in the hills above Pitlochry.  It was great fun, and low-key.  Pitlochry is 75 minutes north of Edinburgh, and is a major stopping point off of the A9 for travelers.  This is a place I would like to see again.  Since we had to be back in Edinburgh by the end of the day, and we wanted to see Sterling Castle we did not walk the town but only visited the distillery.  This is a mistake.  Just driving through I could tell I would regret this, but choices have to be made and when extending your stay is not a choice among them you have to be content knowing you’ll just have to return.

We started with a wee dram, tasting it neat first, then with the addition of a bit of water to experience how it changed the whisky.  Not a huge whisky drinker myself, I was impressed with the way it tasted, and it felt like velvet in my mouth.  Then we took a tour of the process.  Edradour is the smallest distillery in Scotland, and is run by only three men.  They are not automated, and most of the equipment is as old as the distillery itself.  Here is a link where you can read about the distillery.

After we finished at the distillery we headed to Stirling castle after getting gas.  One of the things we found throughout the trip was how scarce petrol stations are, so when you find one, it’s best to fill.

Within an hour and a half, we were at Stirling Castle.  The road to the parking if very narrow and winding, up an incline.  I don’t know if I was just getting better at driving, or not, but it didn’t seem that bad.  There are a lot of buses, so you just have to keep an eye out for them.

This is known as the Bowling Green, and it is on the lower level of the castle.  The tour guide claimed it was used as a yard for children to play in, and the guardsmen would sometimes use it to bowl.

Inside, there is a model of the castle to give some perspective.

This is Wallace Monument which is visible across the way from one of the courtyards in Stirling Castle."Stirling Bridge"

Stirling Bridge, between Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle.  Below, interesting architecture within Stirling Castle.

The Castle Kitchens were quite big, as needed to accommodate the military troops.

I took this picture of the ceiling in the dining hall, when the tour guide said they somehow knew it took 800 trees to create.  The trees came from a forest miles away, and were carted to the castle.

This statue of Robert the Bruce Stands at the entrance to Stirling Castle.  Robert the Bruce led the Scots to Victory against the English’s Edward II in 1314.  It was quite and achievement given that they were so greatly outnumbered, reflecting Bruce’s skill at commanding an army.

This is the cemetery on the backside of Stirling Castle, in Stirling.  Our tour of Stirling Castle was at an end, and it was time to move on back into Edinburgh.  This time we stayed out closer to the airport at a B&B called Strawberry Bank House in Linlithgow.  The rooms are fairly spacious as are the bathrooms, the Breakfast was good, and it had its own parking.  It is 11 miles from the Edinburgh airport, so the location is perfect.  We checked in and took our last walk down Scottish Streets of Linlithgow to a pub for dinner.  Scotland is a wonderful place for vacation, and I look forward to returning.

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