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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Bowmore, Other, United Kingdom

Jun 13, 2011 - Finlaggan

After the whiskey tastings we needed something different to do, so we went in search of some interesting ruins. We found two: a very old church and graveyard with lichen covered tombstones and a beautiful celtic cross. The other was the site of Finlaggan. Islay was the home of the Lords of the Isles who controlled the Hebrides islands for 4 centuries from the 12th to the 16th Century from their base on a tiny island in the land-locked Finnlagan Loch (lake). Expert mariners, they learned from and drove out the Viking raiders and were equals...

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Aug 2, 2009 - Kilnave Churchyard & Cross

The Church of Kilnave, the Saint Nave, is another wonderful medieval church ruin. This one is loacated on one of the deep inlets from the sea at the northern tip of Islay. It also has a rather famous Celtic cross which dates to the same time as the one at Kildalton. Both of these picturesque crosses are the best remaining examples of Celtic crosses in the UK. Perhaps owing to its location near the sea, the Kilnave Cross is much more weathered. It has a silohuette that makes it look like a person with one arm up and one down. Actually, the...

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Aug 1, 2009 - Finlaggan and the Lord of the Isles

Finlaggan was the ancient keep of the Lord of the Isles. As the Roman's pulled out of Britain and all of Europe starting around 470 CE (after over 500 years of occupation) the region was destabalized. The Picts lived in what is now Scotland. The Celts first came over from Ireland to Scotland to fill the void left by the Romans. Although the Romans had never moved up into the Highlands of Scotland, the Celts amalgamated the region and incorporating the Picts into their loose system of rule closed to anarchy. One of the first and most...

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Jul 31, 2009 - Isle of Islay

The Isle of Islay (pronounced eye-la)is a small island in the southern tip of the Inner Hebrides. It is only about 12 miles wide and 30 miles long with three main paved roads. There are 8 distilleries (see entry on Whisky), about 3 towns each with a population of perhaps 200, numerous villages (some with only 3 houses) and lots of green grass and sheep. Economically, Islay depends on it whisky production and the tourism it brings. Also, the wool sheep herding. I understand that the Islay black-faced sheep produce a course wool used...

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Jul 31, 2009 - Kildalton Cross & Churchyard

The ruins of the church of Kildalton is a medieval church with many fabulous grave slabs for knights dating around the 1200’s. The most fascinating, however, is the superbly intact Celtic cross that stands in the center of the church yard, erected sometime around 760 AD. The church is at the end of a long, narrow grass covered lane. Despite its historic significance, it doesn’t appear to get much traffic and is fairly isolated. A brief Gaelic lesson… Gaelic is the ancient tongue originally spoken by the Celts who came over from Ireland to...

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Jul 31, 2009 - The Town of Bowmore

The town of Bowmore is the largest on the island and is the ruling center. It commands about 40 buildings and 200 inhabitants. The main feature is the Bowmore distillery. We stayed at a wonderful inn right next to the harbor dock and a block from the distillery. There were several small and interesting gift shops. In one, we had an interesting experience. The fellow behind the desk said, "Hey, I know you... weren't you two on the tele?" Well, it turns out that we were. You see, we were interviewed by Scotland TV (the national TV station)...

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Jun 9, 2009 - Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila, Bowmore

I had such a good night’s sleep, and we woke up to another beautiful morning. It had rained earlier on, but now it was lovely out. We got showered and went downstairs, and everyone else was making their breakfast. Some had eggs and bacon, and toast, and Brian had some smoked salmon, so I had that on toast along with a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee. Today we were going to the Port Askaig area, to Bunnahabain and Caol Ila Distilleries. We left about 10:00 am, and when the coach turned off to go to Bunnahabain, I asked the driver to let...

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Jun 8, 2009 - Inveraray to Bowmore, Isle of Islay

I woke up at 4:30 am, and was surprised to find the sun already up, but I had forgotten that we are farther north than we are at home, and also near summer solstice, hence the long daylight hours. I sure felt much better after a good sleep, and we showered and packed up our stuff. Then we went down to breakfast in the dining room for 6:30 pm. It was a hot and cold buffet with cereals, fruit, breads and jam, with eggs, sausage, beans (yuck again) for those who had a little room left in their tummies. Back up to the room afterwards to pack up...

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