Scotland Part 4: Riding to Pitlochry
By Andrew O'Neill - Jun 20, 2018
The one where Andrew get’s a flat, the gang meets a vampire, we visit a castle, and drink some premium whisky.
Passing Through Dull
The next day we began the ride to Pitlochry. Since Wende had made a non-refundable booking, we decided to push ourselves and make it to Pitlochry. The first part of the route followed the lake to the east. The road had lots of rolling hills so we weren’t making significant progress. Coming the opposite way of us seemed to be a classic car parade. There were many old convertibles and coupes.
After coming over one of the hills I got a puncture. I told Vicki to catch my Mom and Dan who were riding in front of us and tell them. I felt like it was a Top Gear moment, when one of the hosts cars would undoubtedly break down. Then they’d be left behind to deal with it themself. I patched the tube and caught up. They had stopped at a shop a few miles ahead and waited. We continued on to the end of Loch Tay where we stopped for some lunch. After a quick bite we continued toward Pitlochry.
We passed through Dull, sister city to Boring, Oregon. We stopped at Castle Menzies to use their restrooms and get an American History lecture. Then rode through Aberfeldy without stopping at the distillery (I can’t believe it either). We finally arrived in Pitlochry right before it started to get dark. As we rode through town it felt a like a ghost town. I expected much more people to be out and about, since it was around 5PM. Our hotel was in the back of town on a hill. We stored our bikes and immediately went for the hot showers.
The man managing the hotel was really charming. He had some interesting stories to tell as well. He was originally from Romania and apparently lived or worked (I forget) near Count Dracula’s Castle. His accent and the precision which he chose his words made Vicki and I wonder exactly how close he was to Dracula’s castle.
A Day Without Baggage
The next day we ditched the bags and did some short rides to the nearby destinations. First up was Blair Castle. The castle is really bright, white. There was a bagpiper that would play every 30 minutes or so and march from one door at the end of the castle to the main door at the center. The inside of the castle had tons of treasure and fancy stuff you’d expect in a castle. The rooms I remember most clearly are the entrance with all the guns, shields, swords, and spears, the room with all the hunting trophies (where trophy means animal head), and the ballroom where we put on funny costumes meant for children.
We had some tea in their cafe then went and explored the gardens. Vicki and I played on some playground equipment before joining Wende and Dan in the Hercules Garden. The garden is really beautiful. There was a swan family in the lake and many interesting statues. After we had walked the gardens we hit the road.
Our next destination was Edradour distillery. The route was back through Pitlochry, which was buzzing, and then down the road past another distillery. We then took a right and were greeted by a really long hill up to the Edradour distillery. Vicki and I arrived first and ran in and bought tickets for the last tour. Dan and Wende got there just in time to start the tour.
Edradour is special as it is the smallest traditional distillery. Every barrel of whisky they made was unique. Unlike many distilleries that do everything to maintain the same color and flavor, Edradour prided itself on it’s differences. We took a tour of the distillery which included 2 whisky samplings and a whisky glass to take home (another glass for Dan to carry).
In their storehouse, we saw all the barrels they were making as well as some other barrels that they were collecting. One special barrel was worth a couple million. They kept it near the door so if a fire broke out it would be the first barrel rescued. After the store house they took us to their distillers and mashers and whisky bean thingies. I’ll need to have some Edradour to remember the names of everything. Dan bought a bottle of their “Baileys”.
We decided to try a different route back to our hotel which turned out to be really nice (the whisky might have helped that opinion). It was a long winding road that came from the backside of the town past farms and right up to our hotel. Thankfully it was all downhill. At the hotel we polished off Dan’s recent purchase with our new whisky glasses then went out to dinner. During our meal, a scottish marching band passed by and everyone flooded the streets to watch. Since we didn’t have too much time left to travel and wanted to go the the Isle of Skye and the Harry Potter train, we decided to take a train the next morning for Inverness.
Share this oncomments powered by Disqus
© 2018 Andrew and Vicki