|Me, standing on a wind blown hill on the Isle of Skye, looking very Scottish, if not very cold.|
On Friday, Sept 25 we got up early at our beautiful harbour side bed & breakfast in Oban and headed for the ferry crossing to Skye from the little town of Mallaig on the west coast. Thankfully the rain had stopped and the day turned out to be dry making for a wonderfully scenic drive as expected.
|The view of Mallaig as we pulled away for the crossing to Skye. The clouds were trying to part for a little sunshine as we started our half hour crossing. It turns out the skies did clear for a bright weekend & our visit.|
We arrived at Ann and Donnie's house around 4:30 to a wonderful welcome. They are good friends and Ann is George's cousin. While I caught up over a few glasses of wine with Ann, George went to see his Aunt Effie. Ann cooked us a wonderful meal that night and we had an all round enjoyable introduction back to Skye.
|The whiskey did come out - a bit - later that first evening at Ann & Donnie's house. Luckily both George and Donnie showed immense restraint and no too much damage was done. Great night with good friends.|
First St Columba's Isle. I admit I didn't know much about St Columba other than the fact he founded the religious sect at Iona in the fifth century (around 560AD) and he's a saint in the Catholic church. After a bit of research I found out he brought Christianity to the Pics in Scotland and pretty much established the religion in Scotland. Additionally, the Isle of Columba grew as the seat of the Bishops of the Isles from the 10th to the 16th century and is the sacred burial place of 28 clan chiefs from the MacNicols/Nicolsons! I thought the place would be well marked and set up as, at least, a semi protected well marked tourist spot. It wasn't. Donnie had given us good instructions and George's aunt practically pointed to it from her house but we still had to search a bit to find the overgrown little island in the middle of the river Snizort.
From there we travelled further to the west of the island to look for the Fairy Ponds at the foot of the Cuillin mountains. I asked Donnie how we would know we were there and he replied, "you'll know by all the cars parked". We drove down more impossibly beautiful and narrow roads and entered an area on the side of a glen with a small parking lot off the road. The lot was full of cars with more parked all along the narrow road. As we pulled in I noticed there were people preparing themselves for what looked like a days mountaineering! They were decked out in the latest Gortex coats and trousers, walking boots, woolly hats and gloves. Me and George - we had on our normal jeans & sweaters, regular shoes ... I had an overcoat .. and that was as prepared as we were. I thought we were just going for a short walk to some pools but, NO!, it looked like a fair hike just to get to the first waterfalls. Oh well, we didn't come all this way to give up now.
|The view from about mid way to the pools. Follow the path ... way in the distance is the road and the car. It was cold and the wind was fresh but the walk was exhilarating!|
|We walked and walked towards these mountains - beautiful! I could just imagine that we were headed into the Misty Mountains of Hobbit lore as we walked.|
|The next day we toured a bit further afield and ended our day with a trip around the Talisker distillery. Delicious ... much better than the Jamisons Irish whiskey ... but we knew that all along.|
And that was our trip to Skye! We came back to Inverness, Sheena's house, did some washing and took off again on Wednesday for the wilds of Orkney.