Looking Inside the New Bruichladdich Warehouses

This morning, when I went for my daily walk, I noticed that the new road opposite Port Ban is no longer a site with restricted access. Curious as I am I walked up the new road to have a closer look at the new Bruichladdich Warehouses which have been built over the last 6 months. The two new warehouses, or does this one just count as one?, that have been built are now almost ready on the outside and construction works are taking place inside.

Panorama of the new Bruichladdich Warehouse site

A couple of electricians were working on the site and as the doors were open I had a peak inside one of the new warehouses where the racks for the casks were mounted. These warehouses are huge and the view inside is very impressive. I don't know how much casks fit inside one warehouse but it must be a very large number. And then to consider that there will be six of these warehouses in total, although the remaining four, or five, will be completed at a later stage. Continue reading...

Ferry Wifi and Superfast Broadband on Islay

Two very interesting Internet related announcements reached me this morning. The first one was a tweet from HIE Digital who wrote that "fibre roll-out is coming to Islay this year and will make a big difference to many". That's a very welcome development as we do have Broadband on Islay but the speed is sometimes terribly slow. There are folk in the more rural areas of Islay who have a less than 1.5Mbps download speed whereas most people in the villagse have around 5Mpbs. I know a few farmers with such a bad internet connection that they have to drive down a village to go online there and register their calves! For them, and most others who are on a 5Mpbs line, this is very good news indeed as speeds might increase up to 20Mbps, perhaps even more. For more info on this project and to find out when and if it's coming to you visit www.scotlandsuperfast.com

The second welcome internet related news item was the arrival of wifi onboard Calmac Vessels and in ports which was something many were waiting for. Of course, when you're a tourist and sail by ferry a couple of times a year you're probably not too bothered by wifi onboard your ferry. However, there are many others who use the ferry not only for pleasure and they will welcome this news. From this summer onwards they can use wifi and have internet onboard the Calmac Ferries and in the Ports they visit. The good news is that they will include Port Ellen and Port Askaig too as the latter is a notorious black-spot. Continue reading....

Best Beaches on Islay

Online magazines and newspapers like to write articles such as "Best Islands in the World", "Best Beaches in the UK" or "Top Ten beaches in the West of Scotland". I think one could easily make a top 25 with "Best beaches on Islay" as there are so many. With today's glorious weather we headed off to Ardnave. Around Ardnave alone there are already so many stunning bigger and smaller beaches, and I think some could score very high on the list "Best Beaches on Islay". Perhaps some day I will make such a list. Today I'll settle for my personal best three beaches around Ardnave Point, see the three pictures below. I think each of them could potentially score quite high on the "Best Beaches in the UK" list as well, don't you think so?

Continue to more Ardnave Beaches.....

A Perfect Ending to an Incredible Islay Festival Week

Superlatives almost fall short to describe the fantastic ending to this year's fantastic festival week. Today was Ardbeg Day or should I say Ardbeg Night. It was a super relaxed, incredibly friendly and amazingly sunny and warm festival day. It's said that Bruichladdich always has sunny weather but I think Ardbeg can very easily compete with them where festival sunshine is concerned. Today the weather was simply glorious and the sun shone most of the day, in fact the sun was present on most days this week so no complaints there.

Ardbeg Open Day 2016

In a way we were going full circle as we passed Lagavulin on our way to Ardbeg. It was at Lagavulin, today a week ago, where the festival kicked off and where many folk had their first perfect festival day. The music was fine today, the band Callanish was playing on the stairs near the newly placed still overlooking the yard where tables and chairs were placed for visitors of Ardbeg Night. Continue reading