Fourth distillery: Arran
Lochranza Travel Blog› entry 12 of 16 › view all entries
Waiting for the boat to arran is not bad. There is a little boys and girls room, you can park your car and the view is so great.
We see some ships and wonder wich is the ferry, then suddenly it appeares out of the sun, not to big, and high boards to witstand the high waves. We are the first to enter, another car has come, and a couple without car.
The ferry brings us across in short time and we ride onto Arran and keep left-ish to go to the distillery.
We recognise the distillery because it has the caracteristic chimney on the roof, but it is completely different from what we have seen before.
We park and get inside. Pfew, what a lot of grey, what a lot of people, and all of them buying whisky and merchandise.
Arran distillery has a visitor centre that is opened by the queen herself. That makes peoples of Arran very proud and lots of people want to visit on their trip to Arran.
We get the tickets for the tour, and wait until our guide takes us to the briefing room. First a movie to explain a few things in advance. Propaganda, but cleverly put together and we know and support the message:)
The distillery is different from others on the outside only. All processes are the same, only the machines are put together ergonomically, leaving room for adding some more. After the tour we have our taste of whisky. We are just talking as the guide asks us as if we have been at other distilleries. We tell him the story of Bladnoch and I show him the picture of their own barrel. We tell him we were all surprised by Raymond's unstoppable and unsurpassed tour around the distillery. Then mr. Douglas asks: "Do you mind me asking what you payed for the tour?" When we say 3 pounds, he takes a new bottle and poors us some drinks:)
We have a light lunch in the restaurant where we choose a table with a view to the hills.
We are booked on the latest ferry back to the mainland so we have some time to explore the island. We take the western costal road down to the south. It is a two lane road, but lots of bends and nice scenery makes us drive slow. We stop to take a picture of Ailsa Craig, known to us from Girvan. We recognise it, but the silhouet is different from this view.
We want to stop at a castle in the south, but pass it not seeing it. The next stop we make is to satisfy our curiosety: a short walk from the main road should bring us to Glenashdale Falls. Never trust this information, as it been given by health freaks that want you to wander for a long time. We reach the falls and decide to see the giant graves too.
On the Free Issue Map & Information, they state about internet and Email access: "Broadband is now available throughout the island." We see the cable lying on the ground, see the picture. What a great world, that sabotage is no option on Arran. Lovely.
Another word is about mobile phone reception: "Generally, the signal strength for cell-phones is adequate around the island. Several black spots..." We are with 3 mobile Phones and have no reception on the entire south part of the island. (but then a mobile phone is not a cell-phone?)
We are first again to park our car on the ferry terminal in Brodick.
We are the only customers at the Fish and Chips shop and order this local delicatesse. After some time, I go up to the girl and say smile (while clicking my camera) I see her smiling, she lookes away to her friend (sh*t, the pic will go wrong) but she turnes her head just before the camera shoots. (sigh of relieve) They were out of the normal fish, would we accept another for a few pennies more? No problem, we are starving:) We get the best F&C I have ever had.
On the parking, a uniformed lady is talking to all car drivers, so we go to the car and we get our boarding cards (she exchanges my tickets for other). We don't have to wait long for the ferry and we enter first (!)
It is a big ferry with room for more than 100 cars.
We leave with light, cross against the sun and it is dark (very dark) when we get out at Ardrossan.
The way home is dark and bendy, but we make it in time to make to our beds not to late. This option is skipped, and we stay up until late:)