(July 20, 2008)
Day five--Isle of Skye
Sunday morning we woke up to a fantastically filling Scottish breakfast. (Fried egg, Canadian bacon, scotch pancake, grilled tomato, toast, juice, cereal and coffee) YUM!!!!!!!!
After scarfing down breakfast we asked Tracy where the best places to hike were and she directed us north toward Uig and Staffin. She said there would be a car park between the two towns with trails that lead into the highland mountains and along cliff-side hikes.
We packed up the camera, got our hiking shoes on and hit the road.
What should have been a 25 minute drive ended up taking about 40 minutes due to all the....traffic:
The drive north was beautiful. Everything on this island is beautiful.
We reached the car park Tracy told us about but we didn't see any clear signs for trails....we did however see another couple in front of us that parked and ended up hopping the fence of a farm and hiking that way...so we followed them.
Apparently in Scotland you're legally allowed to walk on anyones property so long as you're not damaging it or doing commercial activities. Free reign baby! Whoo-hoo! I was starting to feel like one of the sheep since they get to go anywhere they please on the island! =)
The ground was very mushy because of all the rain but it was still absolutely gorgeous!
With water to our left, rolling green hills to our right and mountains straight ahead...it was a little bit of heaven for both of us.
Apart from a few sheep and the couple that was hiking well ahead of us (we kept falling farther and farther behind because we kept stopping to take pictures) it felt like we had the entire island to ourselves. There was no noise aside from the ocean, a few birds that apparently live in holes in the hills, some sheep bah'ing and the wind.
With some major hills ahead of us I told my husband that we needed to bag our first munro. A munro is a hill over a specific height (I can't remember what the exact height is) and bagging a munro (I'm told) means climbing to the top of that hill.
We hiked in wide open hills for about an hour before we reached bigger hills and stronger winds...and then we knew we were getting close to the top when it started to rain.
Finally, we could see the top and we both ran for it (well, I ran for it, my husband hung back with the video camera).
The view was amazing from the top of the hill.
The cliff-sides were GORGEOUS!!!
I sat on the very edge of one (I know Mom, I'm not smart) and felt completely at one with the world.
We were so high we were looking down on flying seagulls!
Eventually, we started trekking back toward the car...which at that point was miles away.
We made it back to the car without incident (well, I did have to pee outside and at one point was almost charged by a sheep) and then we headed on to the next destination...Dunvegan.
On the way to Dunvegan...something magical happened.....
We spotted highland cattle and I nearly jumped out of the car! I'd been waiting the whole trip to see these guys up close!!!
Highland cattle are the CUTEST!!! And they're HUGE! I want one.
Ok, moving on.
Dunvegan Castle is said to be the only castle in Scotland that is still lived in by the owning clan. Members of the Macleods still reside here. Yup, you've heard that name before. =) Highlander baybee!
I actually read a lot of blogs and travel sites before we got to Scotland and most of them said Dunvegan castle was cool from the outside and not really that impressive inside...so we opted out of paying for a tour....we did however pay for a boat tour that would get us some great shots of the castle from the water....as well as a few other inhabitants...
After our seal expedition and exploring the gardens at Dunvegan we tried our luck at getting into a fancy hotel restaurant in our dirty hiking clothes....no problem! We had a great dinner (best salmon ever) and then headed back to the B&B.
After a shower and some dessert (our hostess left cookies and biscotti in our room with coffee and tea) I decided to walk around outside and shoot some photos. It was about 10:00 p.m. when I took the following pictures:
I tell you...I could live here.