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Islay Rhapsody


Every year, Feis Ile (Islay Festival) always attracts hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world to this small island in Scotland for the unique mud whiskey on the island. "What's the smell of peat?", "It's the smell of Zhenglu Wan." Frowning, you asked, "Is it delicious?", "Do you like durian?".

I have lived in London for a long time, but I still haven't set foot on Islay Island. There is no other reason, but the journey is really far away. I don’t know how to drive, I can only use public transportation for the whole journey. First, I take a nearly five-hour train from London to Glasgow, and then take a three-hour bus to Kennacraig Wharf to pick up a two-hour ferry before arriving. Due to the infrequent bus and ferry schedules, the time is not well connected. You have to stay in Glasgow for one night before you come and take the earliest bus to pick up the ferry the next day. There is also a faster way to take a small plane with less than 30 people from Glasgow, but it is often canceled due to weather factors, or after a smooth takeoff, it is shaken up and down violently with the strong wind in Scotland, stirring up all the internal organs and spitting out Come.


In the spring of 2019, wanting to realize my dream, I resolutely embarked on this long pilgrimage, sitting on the express train to Glasgow, accompanied by Haruki Murakami "If our language is whiskey". I have been thinking about Islay Island for more than ten years, and I am finally here. Although the journey is far away, fortunately, the scenery along the way is spectacular and beautiful, especially when the bus passes through Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park (Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park), the terrain becomes more and more dramatic, and the landforms full of dramatic changes are mainly The ruins of the volcanic group hundreds of millions of years ago, the desolation and emptiness are shocking.


The two-hour ferry took me closer and closer to Islay. When I saw the land, I didn't care about the shaking of the ship. I rushed from the cabin to the bow, hoping to see if Islay was as bright and fresh as everyone said. Yan, will the sunlight shine brightly on the white walls and black tiles of the distillery by the sea?


Huh! Did I see it wrong?! The island in front of me seemed to be painted with gray watercolor, the sun did not show its face, the dark clouds were too heavy to melt away, the huge waves beat against the hull violently, and the strong wind made me shiver. Is this... really the Isle of Islay that everyone sings about?

As an island, Islay really has no charm. She doesn't have the thrilling and magnificent scenery like Isle of Skye, nor does it have the thousand-year loneliness of Jura, and because the island is full of It is a peat wetland, so it is not green. How does such a woman seduce hundreds of thousands of people every year, who travel tens of thousands of miles from all over the world to visit?


After staying on the island for a few days, I understood that it is because the traffic on Islay Island is so inconvenient, and it is because the island is not particularly beautiful. The tourists who come here from thousands of miles are heavy peat whiskey obsessives. So it's easy for strangers on the island to talk to each other, and no matter where you're from, the topic of conversation is whiskey. Share with each other which winery we went to visit today, which bar we drank in which limited edition, this kind of joyful and friendly atmosphere where we can casually chat with strangers who meet for the first time, and share the same hobbies is definitely not experienced in other sightseeing places. arrived.

Wine lovers, islanders, terroir, peat, and time together weave into the unique charm of Islay. If you are lucky enough to visit this small island in your lifetime, you will understand why Haruki Murakami wrote "If our language is whiskey"... In the only happy moment on this island, the common language between you and me is really whiskey …

Lisa Huang's book "Slightly Drunken, London: Drinking Culture and Wine Stories, Overturning Your Imaginary Britons" fully reconcile travel, British culture, and wine knowledge with emotional brushstrokes, and share a glass of fragrant and charming wine with you . Book details, blog to order online


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