Rugged, Natural Beauty in Skye

The pluses and minuses of touring the Isle of Skye are pretty straightforward: it’s beautiful, but it’s remote, and the island itself is larger than you think. You can spend a whole week on it, enjoying the views, hiking, sailing. But we had only two days.

We got to Skye from the mainland via turntable ferry, one of the last operating anywhere in the world. We took one lane roads to the ferry landing point and watched the ferry come across from Skye. The max load is six cars at a time, so we pulled up and enjoyed the view of Skye as we approached. I crossed sitting in the car. After all, it was starting to drizzle (surprise!) and the wind was kicking up.

Dungeon gardens

Dunvegan gardens

Dunvegan castle

Dunvegan castle









We had a list of outdoor sites to see, but decided to head first to Dunvegan Castle, home of the MacLeods (Highlander, anyone?) because it closed at 5. Keep in mind that the castle and gardens could be a half day event. And then there were side visits to go see the seals from there? If only we had more time!

At least I saw one of the key items in the exhibit – the horn that the MacLeods drunk from as a rite of passage to adulthood. It’s filled with claret. Think about that: chugging red wine …

After Dunvegan, we drove to a number of outdoor sites, lookout points and rock formations around the northern and western parts of the island. My favorite might have been the faerie glen near Portree. As with most directions in Scotland, and particularly in the more remote parts, the directions aren’t exactly, well exact. So the GPS told us to drive approximately a certain distance along a road. We saw cars ahead of us turn around, but we decided to press ahead just a little. We drove past a cattle grate, and then around the bend … and there was the faerie glen.

IMG_0165Beautiful. Miniature landscape of hills, winding paths and water. As we hiked around and marveled at the scenery, a bride got out of a car and had her pictures taken there. Very fairy tale like, with the wind picking up her train.

Unfortunately for us, it was also getting chilly, raw, windy. So while the guys climbed up, the ladies decided to go up halfway, and just enjoy the view. That and take photos. And just enjoy the view.



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