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To the north of Skye

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 26 June 2008

Thursday 26 June, to the north of Skye

Click here for the route and our photographs in Google Earth.
Just like yesterday, the day starts pretty nice, with 18 degrees. And just as easily the temperature drops to 10 degrees. We get into the car a little earlier to go on the road, because today we want to go to the north of Skye and we know in the meantime that there are roadworks that make the journey considerably longer.
Old Man of StorrAt the port of Portree we make a short stop, but it is so cold that we quickly drive on. On the way to the Old Man of Stor, a remarkable rock formation north of Portree that can be seen from dozens of miles away, if the view is clear at least. It is a piece of rock that has been demolished by volcanic activity from the mother rock but still miraculously still stands upright.
Lealt Gorge, Skye Kilt Rock WaterfallA bit further to the north we get out at the Lealt gorge where we see mainly Dutch people who are working their way up the road against the bitter wind. Even in the English rental cars only Dutch people seem to be sitting. And we meet them all again half an hour later at the Kilt Rock Waterfall, a river that flows from Loch Mealt and falls over 60 meters down into the sea. The rocks resemble a neatly woven kilt hence the name Kilt Rock. Also in this neighborhood several dinosaur remains were found including a set of footprints.
House at Stenscholl, SkyeEven in this desolate area, Teije can still find a lot of roads that we have never driven. This time no garbage or oil car that we encounter, but the municipal cleaning that is cleaning the single carriageway. We stay behing him for a while until the driver finds a place where we can pass, but well, on the way back we meet him again.
The Quiraing, Skye The Quiraing, SkyeAt Brogaig we enter the Quiraing, a very special area. In front of us is a bus with tourists who barely can climb the steep slopes. The Quiraing is part of the Trotternish reef that is formed by considerable landslides. It seems that precisely this area is still shifting and that the road at Flodigarry therefore needs to be repaired every year.
Tourists in the rain, Quiraing The Quiraing, SkyeAnyhow, it is a beautiful area and is often used for car commercials. It is a fantastic landscape anyway, a bit bizarre. Just beyond the top is a parking lot and from there we can walk around quietly. Although, quiet? Today the place is packed with tourists, all packed up against the rain and the cold.
Huisje bij Totscore, SkyeOn the west coast of the Trotternish peninsula (as this part of Skye is called) we drive further to the north and occasionally to the coast where now and then remote villages and of course nice houses appear.
Kilmuir, Skye folk museum Kilmuir, Skye folk museumNear the grave of Flora MacDonald (who helped in 1746 in the Jacobite war Bonnie Prince Charlie escape from Scotland after his defeat in the battle at Culloden) we pass the Skye museum of Island Life. Here are a number of houses that have been built on Skye for centuries.
Kilmuir, Skye folk museum Kilmuir, Skye folk museumOutside is a struggle to face the wind and the rain but inside we see old-fashioned interior design of houses as they used to be on Skye and probably the other Scottish islands for centuries: bedsteads, place for cattle, the workshop of a farrier, a weaver's house and so on. Outside there are all kinds of old-fashioned tools that were once used in agriculture, but we stay inside much longer than outside with this weather. What a luxury we have now compared to the past!
Stroing place from the Iron Age near KilvaxterNear Kilvaxter we pass a warehouse from the Iron Age, an underground tunnel, nearly 20 nm long, from 2000 years old where one once the yield of the harvest was stored, at least as much as they could miss. The tunnel is not illuminated and very low, too low to crawl through in the dark. Teije makes an attempt but comes back soon after a few meters. Probably this used to be a job for the children: get some food from the pantry!
Idrigill, near Uig on SkyeVia Uig, a popular departure point for ferries to the Western islands, we drive back to the south. From here it is almost 2 hours back to Craig even though the distances are not that big. We are in any case dry in the car and get out only a few times for a photo. 10 degrees in June, that is not normal ... not even for Scotland. We have certainly been lucky in the past few years when in Scotland because we have never had such a cold weather and so much rain before!
Back in our house we quickly light the stove and soon it is comfortably warm. Reading a few hours and occasionally look at the llamas that walk around the rocky beach in front of our house.


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