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The trip to Skye

Very early (well, it is 8 o'clock, that's early for us) we leave our home town, Groningen, to Schiphol, the airport near Amsterdam. Like always, we drive the first 160 kilometers with our own car, park it near a train station in Almere and then take the train to the airport. In that way we save a lot of time, avoid traffic jams near Amsterdam and save a lot of money.
Elisabeth at Schiphol Teije at Schiphol Elisabeth looks much more relaxed than a year ago, when she flew for the first time in her life. Teije celebrates the beginning of the holiday with a real pint of lager, as the Scottsh (and English) call it.
Our plane And again we fly with Easyjet, one of the cheapest ways to travel to different places in Europe. A pity they don't have many destinations from Amsterdam yet. But we think they raised their prices with the introduction of the Euro; we paid about €150,- for two return tickets, more than last year.
The journey goes well and in fact we are too early, everywhere. Around 14.30 we are outside the airport at Edinburgh, loading our stuff into our rental car. We are prepared for bad weather, that was the weather forecast on the internet: a low temperature and plenty of rain for the next few days. But to our astonishment there are only a few clouds and it is dry when we drive off. Exactly at 3 o'clock we cross Forth Road Bridge, on our way to Skye.
The first hills After an hour and a half we enter the Highlands and see the first mountains, covered with snow. Our route takes us to Perth, in the direction of Inverness, but before Newtonmore we take the road to the west, along Loch Laggan.
Gate Lodge Gate Lodge And just before Loch Laggan stands the Gate Lodge of Ardverikie Estate, the small castle where we have booked for next year, for 4 days. Just before we left, we checked on their website and yes, the reservation is final. From the 11th to the 14th of March 2003 we will be lord and lady of this castle. But of course we have to make a few pictures again, with ourselves in front of it. We peep inside and it certainly looks very small. It has two bedrooms, a double and a single. But it will be enough for the two of us.
Gate Lodge Loch Laggan from the Gate Lodge In the turret a small spiral staircase goes up. Well, we can always lock up the fair Lady there, if necessary. To the right a picture of the view from the Gate Lodge.
But after a few minutes we continue our journey; still more than 250 kilometers to go. Through the Great Glen (of which Loch Ness is also a part) to Glen Shiel, a beautiful area, dominated by rough mountain tops.
View on the Skye Bridge Just past Eilean Donan Castle we can see the bridge to Skye in the distance. And after more than 300 kilometers no sign of even one raindrop. Sometimes even the sun peeks through the clouds.
Taking a break Taking a break And the temperature is all right. At 19.00 we take these pictures and we don't need a coat. But when travelling to Scotland, you can better be prepared for bad weather. Scotland is nice as it is, but when the sun shines, it is like a bonus, the beautiful sceneries become fabulously pretty. Again we have a lucky day in Scotland!
Our hotel at ortree, the Isles Our hotel at ortree, the Isles To pass Skye Bridge we have to pay 5 pound (€ 8) and enter a new part of Scotland; well, new for us. Soon we come to the conclusion it isn't 'bad' here... Around 8 o'clock we arrive at Portree, where we have made a reservation at the Isles Inn, located in the centre of the town, at the market square.
After some soup and a drink, we disappear to our room at 10. It is an ample room and quite pleasant with the heater on. Before eleven we are sound at sleep; the trip has been more tiring than we thought.
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