Old Man Storr
Giant rock shrouded in mist and fog. Steep climb
Today was our first full day on the Isle of Skye. After breakfast at our B&B we headed out for sightseeing and hiking.
The scenery on the Isle of Sky is breathtaking and the pictures don't begin to do it justice. It is an island, so a lot of the driving was along the rugged coastline. It was a challenging drive this morning: a one lane narrow road with 2 -way traffic. There are many niches along the road for you to pull over slightly so the oncoming traffic can drive past you. It is a constant game of chicken. After a while I got used to it, until we turned off the main (1-lane) road onto a a much narrower 1 lane road. That was more challenging, but we got lucky and didn't have to back up. Most drivers were pretty considerate.
Our first stop was a very steep hike up to the Old Man of Storr (a 160 foot tall tapered slab of basalt) rock surrounded by mist and fog. See photo. We didn't hike up all the way because we had a great view part-way up and it was very steep and slippery. Of course it
was kind of misty/rainy.
Parking was a challenge all day. The parking lots for these attractions are very small and there are a lot of tourists. We managed, since we had such a small car. (Absolutely no need for the extra clearance that the Hertz guy tried to talk us into)
Our next stop we couldn't find. Must have missed the sign or something, so we went on to the funky little Skye Museum of Island Life. They had replicas of the thatched stone huts that crofters used to live in. It was cute. A short walk (uphill of course) from the museum was an old cemetery. Looking at the markers, they were all the same names: MacDonald, MacRae, MacIntosh, etc etc. The big attraction here is the grave and monument to Flora MacDonald. If you don't know, she is famous because she snuck Bonnie Prince Charlie out of Scotland after the Uprising of 1745 by disguising him as her maidservant. Saved his life and sent him off to France.
Our last stop of the day was the best. It was off that tiny little road, of course. A hike through the Fairy Glen to the Fairy
Castle. We were following a sheep path and the surrounding terrain was magical. It was like the Shire in Hobbit Town. I had never seen anything like it. The hills are covered in shades of green, the terrain undulates gently into ruffled conical hills. Underfoot it was either very short spongy grass or soft brown dirt stamped down by the sheep. You will see lots of pictures of sheep today (and some videos on Facebook) because legend has it, that fairies live in the Fairy Glen, but when humans come around they turn into sheep. We have become obsessed with the sheep because the babies are so cute. At the end of the hike was the Fairy Castle, the tall rock structure you can see in the photos. We climbed to the top. Very steep, but doable.
We came back to town in the afternoon to do some laundry plus I had a phone call scheduled. We tried to park in town, but it was packed. Not a parking spot to be had, plus the bakery had been totally picked over. 😞. I found out later from our B&B host that the high school kids descend en masse into
town at lunchtime. They beat us to the bakery. Anyway, we dropped the car at our B&B, grabbed our laundry and walked into town.
The Launderette was interesting. Doing laundry in a foreign country is always difficult for some reason, but at least these instructions were in English. The washer was an Electrolux (sounds like a vacuum cleaner). We found where to put the soap (compartment on top above our eye level), couldn't find a water temperature setting, but it was set for Colour, so we hoped for the best. Dot was flush with change, so we dropped in 4.50 pounds and hit start. Success. All the dryers were taken, but we were staking one out and crossing our fingers. You get to meet people in the Launderette. A lot of people come in to check it out, see how busy it is and then come back later. Met a very nice gentlemen from Canada who was checking it out.
While I was outside on my call, Dot met 3 girls from Arkansas, and they had the exact same conversation about the workings of the washing machine that Dot and I had. They actually started to throw the
soap in with the clothes and I think Dot stopped them. They had already been on Skye for a week, so they compared notes for a while. They flew through St Louis, so we're best friends now. Another couple of girls came in without enough change, so Dot was also helping them out, because of course, we were fully prepared with extra change. The machines only take change and there is no change machine around. We got change the night before at the grocery store. When our washer was done the 2 dryers were still taken but one had been done for about 10 minutes. So of course, we were the mean people that emptied their stuff out of the dryer and used it. When they came back, they didn't seem to mind. we think it was some local business because it was a HUGE load of napkins. Weird.
We couldn't help it. We went back to the same restaurant this evening and again, it was amazing. I have pictures somewhere, probably at the very end. Dot had the grilled salmon. I had the Scottish Beef and Skye Red Ale pie. It was delicious, tender beef that had been
Yes we are obsessed with the sheep
We aren't the only ones. There were other girls all googley eyed over the sheep
simmered for about 4 hours and then topped with a light, flaky, crusty pastry. Amazing. Perfect for me. Those of you who know me, know that I cannot resist the "warm chocolate cake." So of course I had to order that, especially after I saw it comes with fresh cream and hot fudge. I practically licked the plate. Nothing was wasted. I am now totally stuffed and very content. We made a reservation there for tomorrow night. I know, why go back, but it is so good, reasonably priced and there are other things on the menu I want to try. Plus, they were nice to us. 😊 And they have good soda with ice.
Just had a long talk with our B&B proprietor. This is sort of a retirement job for him and his wife. They moved from Edinburgh about 8 years ago. They run this 9 months out of the year and then go on Holiday in the off season and do maintenance/upkeep.
The local high school that we pass on the way into town looks like an awesome facility. Apparently it is the only high school on the island. The students that live in the
remote areas of the island board there during the week because there is no way you could drive across this island every day. The big sport here is "shinty" which is field hockey but apparently much more violent. He said they often have kids getting banged up, get stitched and go right back out on the field. Maybe they need a CT scanner???
Scroll way to the bottom of the screen for the rest of the photos.
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