Thursday, October 20, 2016

Scotland Part Two: Isle of Skye

Of course, having shared last week about our time in Edinburgh, I wanted to make sure and post about the second part of our time in Scotland, which we spent on the Isle of Skye. 

We were so enchanted by this beautiful place and managed to explore quite a bit while we were there. We didn't get to everything on our lists, but we did pretty good for our first trip to the island- because, oh yes, we will have to go back some day. Here's what we managed to see this time around:

Eilean Donan Castle

Okay, so this isn't technically on the Isle of Skye. We passed it on the way in and stopped to get a closer look. As can be seen in the photo we were there in the late afternoon, when the sun was shining brilliantly, which made it challenging to get a good photo. It would have been an amazing place to watch the sunset, but we didn't want to dawdle too much, as we wanted to get Caleb (and our weary selves) settled in at our cottage.

Talisker Bay

Day One saw us heading SW and we started with a walk to Talisker Bay. This is one of the lesser known spots on Skye and I'm so glad we did enough reading beforehand to find out about it. After driving down through some very wild landscape, we parked our car just outside of Talisker farm and walked out to the ocean. The beach was stunning, with jagged cliffs (which you can kind of see in the first photo above) and a misty waterfall- very romantic. It wasn't busy at all, which really allowed us to enjoy the beauty of the spot fully. Plus there were fields of sheep all along the path, which was really fun to see. 

Talisker Distillery

After our walk, Caleb needed a pitstop and a little downtime so we stopped at the Distillery so Waldi could take a tour, while we hung out in the car. Thankfully, he was able to fit in a group right away (since he was alone) and he said the tour was interesting & informative and that the guide was very nice and told some great stories.

Fairy Pools

Our final stop of the day was at the Fairy Pools. This was by far the busiest trail we visited during our time on Skye, and for good reason. The walk in is very accessible and the pools are quite simply magical. There was quite a bit of wind, so we decided to go down separately, so one of us could stay with C. Waldi jumped into that pool in the photo there and convinced an American tourist to jump in as well. My crazy husband, haha! He said it was all kinds of worth it though- and the water wasn't even as cold as he had been expecting.


The next morning, Waldi got up early and headed out to hike the Quirang. He drove out as the sun was rising and managed to make the full trail before too many people showed up. I'm pretty bummed to have missed this, but Caleb and I had a lovely, cozy morning at the cottage, eating porridge and listening to back episodes of the Woolful podcast, which was pretty great as well. 


Once Waldi got back, we headed into Portree, the biggest "city" on the island and just a few minute's drive from our cottage. We stopped in for a coffee and some cookies at Arriba cafe, which had lovely views of the harbor and very good coffee. I can't describe it exactly, but it just had that feel of an island coffee shop that I've experienced at home along the westcoast- very laid back but also completely warm and cozy.

Next, we headed out to walk the Scorrybreac circut- a trail that starts just out of the harbor and heads along the coast before cutting up and through the fields & woods back into town. Again, I am so glad we did this. We had the trail basically to ourselves (though we did see some cows) and it was perfectly easy to do with Caleb. We also had an amazing view of the Old Man of Storr (which Waldi later returned to hike), as the day was so clear. It was an absolutely perfect 90mins. 

Then it was back into Portree for a wander down to the harbor and through a few shops. We were hoping to stay for a seafood dinner, but none of the restaurants opened early enough for us, as we didn't want to be out too late with C. Still really enjoyed our time in this little town. 

Neist Point

On our last day, we woke up early and drove out to the westernmost point of Skye- Neist Point. I am so glad we decided to do this, as it was a real highlight for me. We were there early enough that not too many people had arrived yet, and we had a lot of fun exploring. We walked up from the parking lot to get a view of the lighthouse down below and then went down about halfway to the point. The green cliffs against the open ocean are just amazing. This was my first experience with the open Atlantic, and I must admit it's going to be hard to top. 

On the way back we stopped at Cafe Lephin in Glendale for coffee and millionaire shortbread- yum! This was a really charming spot, selling local artwork, cards and other little treasures.

Stein Inn

From Neist Point we drove north towards Stein and Waternish. After a stop to buy some very special yarn (more on this later!) we had lunch at the Stein Inn. This was a perfectly cozy spot and we both enjoyed our meals immensely- seafood sandwiches with salad and crisps. There was a little gallery next door, which we popped into as well before heading out to our final stop of the day.  

Coral Beaches 

From Stein, we doubled back a bit and drove out to the coral beaches. The drive out here was really fun and took us past Dunvegan castle, which you get a great view of looking back after passing it. Then it was a short walk out to this lovely spot. It's quite funny to see something like this against the rest of the landscape, as you can see in the top photo of Waldi. We didn't spend long here, as we were pretty beat by this point but I'm so glad we stopped in for a visit. 

So there you have it- a quick overview of our time in Scotland. I'm working on putting together a post about the yarn shops we managed to visit and the yarns I picked up in case you aren't sick of seeing Scotland photos yet. 

This trip was wonderful and was basically brought to you by the letter W- wool, so much walking, a bit of whisky (for Waldi that is...), and we three Werwai's wandering around. We had such a great time!

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