Multiple travel quarters mark the island of Skye as one of the most impressive destinations in the country that sets a pretty high bar when it comes to magnificent landscapes. Since our whisky trips are never about just scotch – or so I’d like to believe – I was very much looking forward to exploring some of the island’s sights in the space of 24 hours allocated to Skye in the itinerary.
The weather refused to cooperate, unfortunately, with cold wind and steady rain accompanying the majority of that short time. Getting out of the car to venture up a trail for breathtaking views did not come up frequently enough as an appealing option. Side-of-the-road perspectives dominate my meager Skye output.
One place where we did venture a few hundred yards from the car was the Sgurr na Stri trailhead by the old bridge over river Sligachan, where the Cuillin Mountains provide an impressive backdrop under the alternately threatening and foggy skies.
The bridge is “only” 200 years old, and the waters of the river under it, according to a popular myth, can grant you eternal beauty if you keep your face in for at least seven seconds and then let it dry naturally. I am way too secure in my handsome looks to have tried that.
The monument was erected here only a couple of years ago. It commemorates Collie and Mackenzie, the local mountaineers associated with exploring and mapping the Cuillins.
On the early morning of our overnight stay, despite continuing wind and rain, I followed through on my original plans to drive to the area known as the Fairy Glen, which supposedly is a very enchanting place. Braving the elements, I climbed the trail for a few hundred steps, as you cannot actually see the valley from the nearest road.
Another hundred yards from the spot above, and I may have actually seen the Fairy Glen. Alas, my feet slipped on the slick surface, I landed on my back in the mud, and the only possible option after that was back to the car and back to the hotel to change. The rock formations of the Old Man of Storr, on the plan as a subsequent stop, were completely bypassed as the result.
The rain did stop intermittently while we were driving, allowing me to capture a few random perspectives, such as this view towards the island of Raasay near Sconser…
… or the very picturesque perspectives of the Isle Ornsay Harbour.
A shepherd going about his business despite the weather could be seen from the terrace of Torabhaig distillery.
Torabhaig means “high hill overlooking a bay”. Ruins of an old castle guard the bay and the distillery.
And in a departure from my usual MO, a couple of phone pictures. The town of Portree, where we stayed for the night, is quite picturesque and enchanting in its own right. Now, why would an enthusiast photographer such as yours truly ever decide to leave his semi-professional camera in the hotel room in a place like that!?
With so many places that I still want to see all over the world, coming back to remote corners of Scotland feels an unlikely possibility. Regrettably, these may be the only pictures I will ever have of Skye.