16.09.2006 19:08 GMT+2 (61.512,23.777)

Weather UndergroundSad start*

Juha injured his knee at IBC in Amsterdam, so we'll be heading off without him. It will be just Mikael and Teemu.

17.09.2006 09:47 GMT+2 (61.512,23.777)

Weather UndergroundWeather*

The weather conditions in Scotland appear to be as expected. :)

Image captured from weather.co.uk.

18.09.2006 03:47 GMT+2 (61.512,23.777)

Weather UndergroundHere we go!*

Left Tampere in a train at 5:33 in the morning... Yawn.

18.09.2006 13:26 GMT (53.4777,-2.231)

Weather UndergroundManchester*

Strolled around Manchester for a couple of hours. Did not impress us much, so grabbed some fish & chips and took a train to Edinburgh.

We knew that travelling by train is expensive around here, but still past £100 for two was a bit of a shock.

18.09.2006 19:15 GMT (55.94,-3.22)

Weather UndergroundEdinburgh*

Appreciated the character of Edinburgh much more than Manchester. Booked a room in a hostel for three nights. Actually tried to book for only two nights, but it somehow turned to three. Well, nevermind... :-)

19.09.2006 06:50 GMT (55.94,-3.22)

Weather UndergroundTuesday morning*

Had breakfast at a hotel and headed to see the castle. Nothing much to see, though. It really is more impressive from a distance.

It's really freezing here, at least in the morning time. So we followed our Cosmo guide for some knitwear shopping. Did not find any suitable shops, though. Anyway, it got warmer when the sun got up.

19.09.2006 10:00 GMT (55.94,-3.22)

Weather UndergroundArthur's Seat*

Decided ex tempore to grab a snack and climb the extinct volcano, Arthur's Seat, just next to the city.

Beautiful views and windy as hell! On the way down got in touch with the Scottish weather for the first time. Returned to the hostel soaking wet.

19.09.2006 11:38 GMT (55.94,-3.22)

Weather UndergroundWhiskey in the Museum*

Had haggis for lunch. Excellent stuff! Then to a tour in the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, followed by some great whisky tasting

Confirmed a visit to Laphroaig distillery for Friday and continued to sample some of the local pubs and beers.

20.09.2006 09:57 GMT (57.31,-4.45)

Weather UndergroundThe Highlands*

Now in a minibus going up north, to see the Highlands and to greet Nessie.

Spectacular views up here - and the proper Scotch weather as well. :-)

20.09.2006 15:52 GMT (57.31,-4.45)

Weather UndergroundNessie*

Can't understand why she's called a monster. OK, she's a big beast, but so mellow in her nature. Just swimming about, with no sign of aggression towards us tourists.

Nessie appreciated the greetings from all of you who sent them and sends her regards to all.

21.09.2006 17:03 GMT (55.62,-6.19)

Weather UndergroundIslay calling*

Finally onboard the ferry to Islay. The highlight of the trip is near! Triple-checked that I still have the ownership paper that entitles me to claim a square foot of Islay from Laphroaig. :-)

We booked accommodation for tonight, but Islay seems to be short of vacant beds on Friday. Let's see what happens.

22.09.2006 09:46 GMT (55.62,-6.19)

Weather UndergroundPubbing*

Pub hopping last night. Visited every pub in Port Ellen. Both were quite small.

After closing time shared a small bottle of Koskenkorva with local lads Malcolm and Benji and gave them another one to be enjoyed later, properly frozen.

The pubs in Scotland have been smoke free since March this year. You really appreciate that, especially the morning after. Thumbs up, looking forward to the same to happen in Finland.

22.09.2006 11:05 GMT (55.62,-6.19)

Weather UndergroundLaphroaig*

Still over two hours before the tour starts. Walking about the island. The weather is the best so far on this trip, and the landscape is rough but beautiful.

22.09.2006 13:01 GMT (55.62,-6.19)

Weather UndergroundScottish hospitality*

As we were passing Lagavulin a small shower suggested we should pop in. They offered us shelter and a dram, and we left with with warmth in our hearts and bottles in our bags.

On the way back to Laphroaig a local gentleman offered us a lift, and as we were there half an hour before the start of the tour, we got a lift to an ancient church and back from a German couple, Sofie and Daniel.

22.09.2006 16:59 GMT (55.62,-6.19)

Weather UndergroundVisit to Laphroaig*

We are now both officially Scottish land owners - and Friends of Laphroaig.

Made the distillery tour and sampled the Liquid Smoke in its various stages of production - as well as a few readily bottled flavours. Also registered as Friends of Laphroaig and marked our properties with Finnish flags wearing the wellingtons and helmets provided by the distillery.

23.09.2006 21:27 GMT (53.4777,-2.231)

Weather UndergroundVirgin trains*

So close, so far away. Should have been in Manchester some time ago, but still standing on Bolton station, some 20 mins ride away. The train looses electricity and then gets it back again. We are told to get off the train and take the next one, but then everything seems to have been fixed and we are told to get on board again. And then we wait... Lights on, lights off...

Otherwise traveling with Virgin is OK. You can tilt your seat back slightly - if you are travelling in 1st class. You can also reserve a seat - if you do it three hours before the train departs from its first station. If you haven't, you can still see which seats are available on the train - if the system happens to be working...

23.09.2006 22:26 GMT (53.4777,-2.231)

Weather UndergroundNo beds*

There is a Labour party meeting (or something like that) organised in Manchester and there was a huge related demonstration earlier today. The city is full of people and there is not one bed free in any of the hotels or hostels. Oh shit! :-(

24.09.2006 00:11 GMT (53.4777,-2.231)

Weather UndergroundFound it*

Managed to find the last vacant room in Manchester. Obviously by sheer luck. :-)

Of course there would be a lot going on out there tonight, but... yawn. Good night!

24.09.2006 17:45 GMT (53.4777,-2.231)

Weather UndergroundSunday in Manchester*

Teemu left early in the morning. I slept until 10 o'clock, took a shower and checked out.

Spent an hour in a cafe waiting for the hardest shower yet to end (the rest of the day has been sunny, though). Read Made in Manchester, a local what's happening mag. Nothing much today, unfortunately.

Checked in to Old Trafford Lodge, which has views to the legendary sports arena. I can see the full field from my room. Obviously, I'm talking about the Lancashire County Cricket Club. No game today, however.

Feeling a bit tired already. Let's see what a pint in a local pub will do...

28.09.2006 10:13 GMT+2 (61.512,23.777)

Weather UndergroundPhotos*

A collection of photos is now available, see http://rinnetmaki.net/gallery2/v/matkat/Scotland/.