Monday, March 28, 2016

Part 5... Arran distillery and majestic deer...


Some of the first casks at Arran Distillery...


I have a confession to make.  My memories of our cruise are a little jumbled now.  It could be because we drank a lot of alcohol on this cruise.  It could be because I'm getting old.  It could be because a lot has happened in the last two weeks!  Anyway, as I was writing the previous post, I realized I was getting some events mixed up.  I may be going back to do more editing as I write these posts, though I suspect no one cares but me and anyone else who happened to be on the cruise.


A shot of the Princess as we left the tender...

The second distillery we visited on our cruise was the Isle of Arran Distillery, located in the tiny, picturesque village of Lochranza.  We were blessed with sunny skies and calm waters as we each took the tender to the tiny pier.  A bus was waiting to take some of us to the distillery and others on a tour around the Isle of Arran.  Arran is a very beautiful place... so beautiful that we named one of our dogs after it!  Anyway, we decided to go to the distillery instead of sitting on the bus, though I have to admit the bus driver cracked me up as he apologized for the bus he was forced to drive.  It was a city transport type of vehicle, without the plush seats and toilets we'd had on our other buses.  He said he was "shocked" at the quality of the bus.  Little did he know, we'd encounter a much worse bus in Islay a couple of days later!

Bill and I visited the Arran Distillery on our first Hebridean cruise and have become fans of their product.  We also really enjoyed our first tour, which was given by an older Scot with a thick accent named Campbell.  This time, our guide was a bearded man named Stewart.  Like Campbell, he wore a kilt as he led us through the distillery and told us about how whisky is made at the Arran Distillery.  We watched a corporate video, newly produced since our first visit.  Arran Distillery has only been around for about twenty years.  It was founded by Harold Currie,  who happened to die on March 15th of this year.  Since he had just died a couple of days before our visit, flags at the distillery were at half mast.


Lochranza is the home to golden eagles.  It's said they made an appearance when Queen Elizabeth II visited the distillery.



I don't have much to say about the distillery tour itself, except that Stewart was very entertaining.  I got a kick out of his beard, which looked like it could have served as home to baby animals.  Arran makes a number of delightful whiskies, but they also make Arran Gold, which is a creme liqueur somewhat like Bailey's Irish Cream.  I have been known to enjoy Arran Gold on occasion and, in fact, I think I like it a bit more than Bailey's.

Since we had such beautiful weather on the day of our tour, Bill and I decided to walk back to the ship.  I took a few photos of the nature in Lochranza, as well as a family of deer who were enjoying themselves near the beach.


No doubt a source of the water that makes Arran whisky...






Handsome buck watching his does and posing for photos!







Just across from the pier... we heard and saw lots of local kids playing outside, uninhibited by adult supervision!



You really had to watch where you stepped in Lochranza.  Lots of deer scat everywhere.  ;)


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