Yet another breakfast full of thankyous this morning - if we were staying here any longer, I think I'd have to do some speech therapy with this woman to improve her expressive vocabulary!
I'm feeling brave this morning (and Simon must be too!) because I drive this morning, woah. Out to the Cairngorm Mountains, and up to the top in the funicular. Yes, we could've walked but I was feeling lazy and inappropriately dressed for mountain climbing! It was a perfectly clear day, which made for spectacular views from the lookout. Something else spectacular was the temperature outside - 0.2 degrees Celsius. Brr! Cream of carrot soup soon warmed us up though, and made a pleasant change from the cream of cauliflower soup we've seen everywhere else. Back down the mountain again, and then to the Highland Folk Museum just out of Newtonmore. This was a free attraction, which was a good thing. Kind of like Pioneer Settlement Museum in Swan Hill, only not as good. Plus it was still cold - I think about 8 degrees at this stage. There was ye olde fashioned sweet shoppe, but the Jazzles weren't so nice - looked like white chocolate freckles, but didn't taste as good.
Back on the highway, this time off to Dalwhinnie Distillery. What a beautiful location for whiskey making, just at the foot of the mountains! We did a tour of the distillery with only two other people - Jodie (a man, go figure) and his 10 year old son. Ewan, the tour guide, was a little youth challenged, and enjoyed spelling out the whiskey related lingo. This was fine, but I felt that words like 'wash' just didn't need that level of attention. On to the tastings - whiskey paired with chocolates! Unfortunately I wasn't a huge fan of the chocolates, but the whiskeys were rather nice. Some were easier to take when a bit of water was added, and Gus would be proud that I didn't add coke to any of them. Definitely Simon's turn to drive again now - I've been sampling whiskeys, he's just been eating strangely flavoured chocolates.
Off to Glencoe - but of course, it wasn't quite that simple. The maps function decided to be particularly obscure in regards to the Glencoe region, and we ended up having to ask a ferryman for directions (but thankfully we asked for directions BEFORE we got on his ferry, which would've taken us in completely the wrong direction). Finally made it to Glencoe, but no sign of King's House, where we are staying. And of course we had forgotten to write down the exact address - it'll be in Glencoe, how hard is that going to be? Well thanks to the directional assistance of the local shopkeeper, not too hard at all once we are looking in the right spot, i.e. ten miles OUT of Glencoe. Was pretty relieved to find it in the end - and pretty hungry too!
We got into the spirit of the local cuisine again - venison casserole, yum! The meat was very tender, and the best thing was that it came with lots of vegies. It had been awhile since I'd seen any of those. I was also pleasantly surprised by the price - quite cheap, really, and I'd always thought that venison was deer. Get it, dear? Hahaha. I think that whiskey went to my head...
Dessert was also a traditional Scottish favourite, allegedly. Raspberries and cream, essentially, but I think they snuck some whiskey in there too.
Most intriguing component of the meal was the very English family sitting nearby. The woman actually said "jolly good" without even a hint of irony, which I found pretty impressive. Not sure if they actually were related - but there were two adults and two children present. The adults were pretty into rules and being proper - youngest boy was told off for having his chair too far out from the table, and were being lectures on what quantity of food it is appropriate to consume. The adults also had a minor argument about whether or not children should be allowed to drink coffee, which ended in the man telling the woman to 'shh'. Strange. And all the while, these prim and proper people were wearing moccasins or ugg boots. Lucky that Simon and I are perfect I suppose!!