Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue 2002 -> Thursday 4 April

Skye, the southern and southwestern part, Cuillin Hills

And again we have an early start early, today. The first hour it looks like we are going to have our first real rainy day in Scotland, but it only lasts for a few hours. So when are we going to have a real Scottish day, with only rain? Scotland has a reputation on this matter... Maybe next year, when we go there in the beginning of March.
Cuillin Hills, Skye We take the road to Sligachan and turn at the end of Glen Drynoch to the south, towards Glenbrittle and the Cuillin Hills. This area has the highest and roughest mountain tops on Skye, a beautiful area to make long walks.
Cuillin Hills, Skye In a travel guide we read that this road to Glenbrittle only exists because there used to be an airstrip in this area, but that has been closed down. At the parking place we search for the webcam (which we have on our mainpage during our holiday) and eventually we found it on a pole, far away. So it isn't just a normal webcam, but some security camera with a strong zooming capability. We wave, but nobody notices...
Cuillin Hills, Skye We are not in such a good shape that we can climb all the way to the tops of these mountains (900 meters), and after an hour or so we decide to climb down again and let the car do all the work.
A few days later we read a newspaper in which John McCleod, head of the clan McLeod, who lives in Dunvegan Castle, offers this area for sale. Only 10 million pounds (16 million euro). It is a magnificent area and we think one should be able to earn that money back when all the hikers have to pay toll... But some authorities dispute his claim on this land.
Cuillin Hills, Skye The sky is clearing up when we leave Glenbrittle and after a while the sun is shining brightly. We take the same way back, around the Cuillin Hills, and go on our way south. But we never loose sight of these impressive mountains.
Loch Ainort Cuillin Hills, Skye With the coast (to the left Loch Ainort) on our left side and the Cuillin Hills on the right side, we continue to Broadford from where we take the single track road to Elgol.
House in the mountains Elisabeth at Torrin We keep marvelling at the scenery. To the right, Elisabeth is sitting near the mines of Torrin, where they extract the white marble of Skye.
Highlander Coast at Elgol Although the road is not very long, it is not possible to drive fast, so it takes quite some time before we reach Elgol. From there we first take the small, steep and exciting track to Glasnakille. Better not to have any oncoming traffic on this road; it is very narrow and there are many blind summits. And often there is a curve in the road, just past the summit.
Coast at Elgol Coast at Elgol Elgol is a small village with a beautiful view over the Cuillin Hills to the north and several islands to the west. After the rainy start of the day, the sea now looks bright and blue in the sunlight.
On the rocks at Elgol On the rocks at Elgol We take a walk on the rocky beach which looks like a glacier with all its cracks and fissures. It is nice enough to lie in the sun for some time, but we keep our sweaters and coats on.
Teije enjoys the sun After that, we drive the same road back and go more to the south, onto the peninsula Sleat. This area is also called the garden of Skye, because there is much more vegetation than on the other parts of the island. It has become warm enough to have a picknick outside.
Sleat peninsula And indeed we see a lot of bushes and plants flowering, the first we see on Skye. But we wonder about the lack of lambs. Skye is also known for its sheep population and we had expected to see a lot of lambs everywhere. But it is only a few days later that we see our first lamb in Scotland, as if spring starts later here.
Ruins of Knock Castle Armadale Castle And, inevitably, we run into some castles. Knock Castle (to the left, a ruin) was build in the middles ages by the MacDonalds of Sleat. Armadale Castle (to the right) is in much better shape and lots of workers are busy making the estate more attractive to tourists. This was also a castle of the MacDonald clan.
House on Sleat Cow with calf And sometimes we see a house along the way which looks like a castle, or at least like a fine country house. You don't expect them and there they are, half hidden in the woods or behind a hill.

From Ardvasar we drive to the end of the road, towards the Aird of Sleat. There we see the first sign of the spring: a cow with calf. But it is not worth the drive...
View on Rum Rune van Dunsgathaich Castle On the return journey we take the mountainous route to the west coast of the peninsula. From there we have a wonderful view on the island Rum (left). At Tokavaig, Teije (of course) has to make a picture of the ruins of Dunsgathaich Castle.
We now have driven on almost all roads of Skye and contentedly we drive back to Portree where we sit in a pub to enjoy the remaining of the night. This day has been the most rainy day we ever experienced in Scotland, but it hasn't been that bad. We have seen the sun shining sometimes and when it will stay this way we will be very happy with the weather. We pay the hotel and make a plan for tomorrow; we are eager to see our friends in Beauly again.
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