Friday, February 07, 2014

Day 6: Kirkwall

It was a beautiful day when we decided to walk to the Highland Park Distillery, which is about a mile outside of town. A long, long mile as it were.

But we got to pass some pretty funny street is one:

Check out the sky! So pretty! And that's the water in the near distance:

The Distillery was one of the things we were most looking forward to doing while in Scotland. We had hoped to go to the Orkney brewery while there, too, but it had just closed for the season. We made up for it by drinking a ton of Orcadian beer while there. The Distillery is really cool because it's the top spirit in the world yet it exists on this tiny island and it has such an old feeling to it. You would think that such a popular whisky would be produced in a much larger and more modern way, but it's not.

And it's such an old place!

We took the tour, which I highly recommend, and James, our guide, was amazing. He was so informative and you could tell he really loved the place. We got to see all the parts of the whisky production:

After the tour, we got to try a wee dram of the whisky and it was delicious! And strong!

And then, the coolest thing happened: James all of a sudden went to the backroom and came out with another tray of samples. Apparently it was a "special group" and we were going to get to try the 18 year old scotch, as well! We're still not sure what made us a special group, but we kind of think it was us. The other people in our group were from Glasgow and France...but we had definitely come the farthest! All the way from America! It was quite special. And damn, that 18 yo is good.

Please please make the Highland Park Distillery a part of your trip if you ever find yourself in this spot in the world. This was one of the best things we did on the whole trip! Amazing!

On the walk back to town, we stopped by the amazing spot where Bishop's and Earl's Palaces are. These palaces are so cool to see in person and it was amazing to see how they're just chilling right on the edge of town. when I had researched them before the trip, I kept picturing them way on the outskirts, but they were practically a part of the neighborhood. The house next to mine here in Virginia is 20 years old. I can't even imaging living next to something from the 17th century!

The rest of our day was spent shopping for souvenirs and gifts and that evening we had drinks and ate dinner at our hotel. It was a great day.

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