day five: the road to Torridon
a.k.a. the most beautiful place ever
Wednesday took us west, to the coast. But we couldn’t leave Speyside without visiting a few more distilleries 😉
So on our way out we did GlenFarclas, The GlenLivet, and Cardhu. I was quite taken by the red doors at Glen Farclas (odd, I know). I don’t know if it was the particular red, or the contrast with the grey stone, but my goodness. You’ll understand when you see it.
I took over driving after we left The GlenLivet, as Justin had enjoyed a few drams of scotch. We followed signs to Cardhu distillery and were not disappointed. The drive took us past fields with pheasants and waiting right by the car park, were three Highland Cows (or, Coos as they are more affectionately referred). I about lost my mind with excitement. They are the pets of one of the distillers who lives next door. Two of the females just had babies and there are just no words to describe the cuddability of these calfs. It’s like if Snuffalopagus and a wooly mammoth had a baby. I took about a million photos of Hector and Treasure (no, i didn’t name them, they already had names). Entering the tiny distillery I was on cloud nine while I assume Justin tasted scotch (I was going over the photos and squealing with delight of what I’d just seen).
As we left, I saw more red doors ::swoon::
I continued driving west (still not confident with this whole driving on the left situation), and tried not to get in an accident as there are a million lambs frolicking around the hills RIGHT-BESIDES-ME. I really should get more credit for not damaging the car (that would happen tomorrow, and with me not behind the wheel). After two hours, I pulled over for diesel and promptly hopped in the passenger sear, cause I’d had enough.
We drove a bit more and reached a nature reserve. Big black rocks all around us and a very narrow one lane road with passing spots took us the rest of the way to The Torridon Hotel. The hotel I reserved was at the bottom of the NC500. For the 99% of you that don’t know, that is the 500 mile loop that takes you around the north coast of Scotland. I quickly learned that if you’re bougie enough to do the NC500, you’re gonna do it in a fancy ass car. We saw Astin Martins, Porches, Lambourginis, and on and on. To be fair, this was a reaaaaalllly nice Inn (see photos for proof) it even had a Tesla charging spot…
So we roll up, and here is the part where I’m going to give you two very different accounts of Torridon. One is Justin’s and the other is mine.
Christin: Awestruck (I feel like this is a continual theme and I need to find synonyms for beauty, gorgeous, incredible, etc) of the landscape and every damn thing that completely surrounded the property. It was right on a loch with more highland cows and was the most beautiful place I’d ever visited.
Justin: It reminded him of a summer camp.
To be fair, there we a lot of activity options: hikes, archery, kayaking, skeet shooting, etc. And being someone who has never attended an outdoorsy summer camp (in middle school I did go to a college summer enrichment camp and took classes like drama, french, and photography….), I didn’t have a camp experience to pull any similarities. Still, it made me laugh.
Since I booked everything two weeks before the trip, there were no rooms in the hotel, but the Inn (which was right behind it) had rooms. Imagine it would be where the peasants would stay, if the peasants were also bougie af. We ate dinner at the pub and then walked over to the house, where I had champagne and Justin had the ‘Best Scotch in the World’ (according to some magazine, it is Cragallache 31 year). Yeah, we fancy.
I edited a few of the photos of the cows I took before passing out (excitement of cows + stress of driving = exhaustion). I hope you like the red doors and Torridon as much as I did.