View from Cairn Gorm Mountain Railway, Scotland

This morning, we took advantage of incredibly dry, sunny weather with excellent visibility with a morning trip up the Cairn Gorm Funicular Railway near Aviemore. This entailed a trip to a height of about 3700 feet. This vantage point provided superb views west including Monadhliath Mountains, Glenmore Forest Park, Loch Morlich and a mist covered Spey valley.

View from Cairn Gorm Mountain, Scotland

Tour Guests atop Cairn Gorm, Scotland

Loch Morlich and morning mist over Speyside, Scotland

View from Cairn Gorm Mountain Railway, Scotla1nd

Speyside and Loch Morlich from Cairn Gorm

View from Mountain Railway, descending.

Next, we drove north for about 90 minutes, through pleasant rolling hills and farming landscapes to Craigellachie where we stopped to visit the Speyside Cooperage. Here, a cadre of highly skilled and hard-working coopers construct and repair oak casks used in the maturation of Scotch whisky. Most of the oak is sourced from Tennessee and Kentucky in U.S.A.

Coopers at work at Speyside Cooperage, Craigellachie, Scotland

Speyside Cooperage, Craigellachie, Scotland

After lunch at Speyside Cooperage we drove south for 30 mins to visit Glenlivet Distillery. Glenlivet has a history dating back to the 18th century and now ranks as one of Scotland’s top distilleries with volume of 10.5m litres p.a., which is set to rise to 20.0m litres p.a. when new capacity comes on stream in a few years.

We joined the standard tour of the whisky making process which included malting, milling, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation culminating in a tasting.

Glenlivet produces a range of single malts with 12-year-old as flagship.

 

Whisky Tasting at Glenlivet, Speyside, Scotland

Glenlivet Single Malt

Distillery Tour group at Glenlivet, Speyside

Glenlivet Distillery, Speyside, Scotland.

Next, we drove to nearby Inveravon to view a small collection of well-preserved Pictish carved stones which date back at least 1000 years. In common with Pictish stones elsewhere in Scotland, the carvings comprise a mix of geometric and nature-based symbols, the meanings of which are not fully understood today.

Video clip of Pictish Carved Stones at Inveravon

Pictish Carved Stones, Inveravon Church, Scotland

Finally, we returned to our lodgings in Grantown-on-Spey.

Tomorrow we visit more distilleries.

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