Has anyone not heard of the Isle of Skye? It’s a large rugged island just off the western coast of Scotland. For almost 400 years the only way to get to Skye was by ferry. This all changed in 1995 with the opening the Skye Bridge.
One morning, as part of a special excursion, I took a bus tour over that bridge and about the island.
Folklore on Skye
When I said rugged, I meant rugged. The island has large open spaces punctuated by mountains.
As we traveled past the Cuillin Hills. Our guide regaled us with stories of fairies and sith (pronounced “shee”) who live in the hills. Almost every stream or craggy outcrop has a fairy story associated with it. Some are good but many offer a warning. It doesn’t pay to linger or the fairies may lure you to their fairy mounds. Be careful if you go out hiking!
The Great Outdoors on Skye
As to hiking, Skye is a great place for walking and climbing. The steep slopes may look easy, but they can be difficult.
Sligachan Bridge is a popular spot for hitting the trail The water, of course, is magical. If you can hold your face in the stream for a certain amount of time you’ll have eternal beauty. I’ve heard different ideas as to that time, anything from seven seconds to two minutes. If you do it for the latter, you’ll certainly have eternal something.
One of the main viewing spots on Skye is Kilt Rock. We stopped and had a chance to get off the bus. What a relief not to fight with the window reflections!
There was a piper working the cliff-side area. He was colorful and obliging so I’ll include a photo of him as well.
Towns and Shops
We didn’t linger here; all too soon it was back on the bus and heading back toward the mainland. We stopped in Portree for lunch. This is the biggest settlement on the island. The town is filled with pubs and shops. We found a bakery and a place to get ice cream.
We wandered about after lunch. I definitely wanted to get down to the water to capture the above colors. The wall I’m standing against is very close to the main highway. It was a tricky business to frame a shot through the bushes and at the same time be aware of the traffic behind me.
With reluctance, I joined the group for the ride back to the mainland. As we drove over the Skye Bridge one more time, I shot this photo of Kyleakin with Kyleakin Castle in the background.
This little town sits directly across from the mainland and used to be the ferry terminus.
My bus tour was a good introduction to Skye but the island is big and I didn’t see all of it. Obviously, I’ll have to go back!
To see more images from my trip to Skye, please click here.