...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, July 18, 2016

It's Always Sunny in Port Ellen

On our first morning back in America, I woke before the sun.  All night I'd dreamt lightly about moving my family out of a well-weathered stone Scottish house, refusing to hand over prized shrubberies to neighbors, instead doing guerrilla plantings in broad daylight in strangers' backyards.  Once awake I wondered how on earth I was going to organize my travel experiences into blog posts.

Aside from 48 hours of drizzle in the Highlands, the sun never set in Scotland.  Almost literally.  Sunrise was 4:30ish, Sunset 10:30ish.  In the Highlands, the dying daylight glow drifted past midnight.  The temperature floated between the the low 60s and the low 70s the entire time.  Such was the gorgeous sunlight that I received a blistering sunburn......while we were on Islay.

Edinburgh remains, aesthetically, my favorite city in the world, though the Royal Mile has now become Tourist Trap Mile.  Also, The Queen was staying in the Palate of Holyroodhouse and she wouldn't let anyone in.  Dammit Liz, go home.  Drumnadrochit continues to be quiet and peaceful despite the all its new construction.  But Islay's beauty took me by surprise.  I expected a slightly dingy fishing island, but instead its geography, which shifts every few miles, glows in its wild freedom.  And Campbeltown, which I expected to be a very dingy shipping town, was full of lovely architecture (whether sturdily intact or romantically crumbled) that revealed its great prosperity from a previous century.

Then there was our questionable car, excellent seafood at every stop, Finlaystone House, Loch Lomond National Park, two Loch Ness Monsters, and 56 whiskies sampled in 7 days.  Even Kristen tried a few single malts, with positive results.  As I write this, early in the AM, I still don't know what I'll be sharing here or how I'll do so.  But here are some photos in the meantime...