Sunday 25 September 2005|
Stacks And Voes
Spend today driving around the north and west of Mainland. Lots of driving out to the end of roads, turning around, and coming back. Most of it not worth reporting, except to say that it is all very scenic.
Drive through part of Ronas Voe, a very rugged and beautiful fjord, on the way to Esha Ness, where relatively flat tableland ends in dramatic cliffs above the sea. It is very windy here and I do not linger long, but I do walk along the precipitous gash running a couple hundred yards inland from the water. The sea washes in and out. Offshore, bizarre stacks jut out of the ocean. One strange islet, Dore Holm, looks like an enormous horse drinking from the surf.
I take a walk to one of my favorite spots in Shetland, the broch at Culswick. There is no one on the mile-long farm track save the usual sheep and a friendly calico cat. At the end, high on a knoll, sits the shattered broch, overlooking the churning Gruting Voe. The last time I was here, it was a splendid sunny day; today it is overcast, but it's still a special place.
On the way back to Lerwick, I drive by Catfirth, the area where Blackwood Distillery is supposed to be built. There was a lot of excitement in whisky circles when this project was announced, but it has apparently been bogged down in financing, and there is a great deal of skepticism as to whether it will ever get off the ground. A large, vaguely Scandinavian-looking structure is going up by the side of the road, but there is nothing to indicate whether it has anything to do with the enterprise or not. Nothing firm to report. [The Blackwood distillery never happened. As of 2014, a different distillery project was in the works on Unst, adjacent to the Valhalla Brewery.]
A quiet night in the Lounge Bar. Among other things, I revisit Tobermory. I can detect the cedar flavor I found so strong the other night, but the dram now tastes much more like the rather unpleasant malt I remember. What did I eat that night? No matter, I doubt I'll have another Tobermory for a good long while.