Thursday, June 16, 2005

Scotland Day 5

Today started bright and early with leaving Inverness at 9pm. From Inverness we began to really get deep into the Scotish highlands. Like most people who journey there, I fell in love with the highlands of Scotland. There is just something about them that has some sort of undescribable pull. Anway our first stop was Rogie Falls on the black isle (even though the Black Isle really isn't an isle) Image hosted by
From there, after a great drive through the highlands the next major stop was a picturesque location over Loch Carron.Image hosted by
This brought us to Kyle of Lochalsh (and if Kyle happens to be, you know, your namesake then you might be surprised that in Galeic it's true meaning is "narrow straight of water"). Everyone who is staying on the bus the rest of the day got of and found lunch while everyone who was jumping off in Skye went across the bridge and found ourselves in Kyleakin. Kyleakin is a small fishing community, that also happens to be an extremely popular meal stopping point for big tour buses. It is also blessed with absolulty brilliant views Image hosted by We got checked into the hostel and then ate lunch, where I finally got to have Haggis! The stuff is awesome. I have the recipie and the minute I figure out how to get hold of a sheep stomach, lungs, liver, and heart I am so going to make it. It was now about 2:00 and we had the whole day ahead of us. Abigail and I decided to jump on the bus and go back across the bridge to Kyle of Lochalsh. From there a glass bottom boat did cruises, and that was something Abigail had always wanted to do, so we did it. It was a goregous day so we got to see a lot of great scenery from the boat along with a lighthouse upclose,
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jellyfish (in Scotland, who would have thought!),
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and seals.
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We then explored Kyle of Lochalsh for all it was worth exploring (it is not very big) and then went back to Kyleakin. Abigail got her much missed afternoon nap out of the way while I went through our pictures, and then it was off to Castle Moil. Image hosted by
The castle lays just one the outskirts of Kyleakin (which again is really small). It was built in the early 12th century by a Viking Princess known as Saucy Mary. She is saucy because legend has it that she would put a big chain across the Kyle and demand a toll. If boats paid a little extra she would then flash them. The castle (which only has two parts of a wall standing) was also home to King Hakkon who was the last viking king to rule over the islands of Scotland. At low tide to get upto the castle all you have to do is walk up along the coast. Unfortantly we went there at high tide which gave two options. 1. Walk in the cold water 2. Climb through the hills. Abigail was not feeling adventerous so on my own I opted to climb through the hills. It was only the marginally dryer choice. Because of the rain yesterday it was an absolute mud field. Going through the mud wasn't the problem. The problem is that the path of least resistance led me to the top of a hill that had a steep way of going down. Typically this would not be all that hard but the rain again made it a mudslide, so I just carefully controlled my fall. I don't have any pictres that give a good idea what this was like, but here is one that has the hill in question, and shows my path (sort of)
Image hosted by I can assure you the hill is steeper and bigger than that picture makes it out to be. It was really fun standing inside the remains of the castle. On the way back I decided climbing back up the hill was a bad idea, so I climbed around the rocks on the coast and only once had to step into the water. After that I went back and put on dry shoes and socks and we went to eat at a local pub. Since it was Saturday night they had some live music coming in, so we waited for that and while we were waiting we got the pleasure of seeing a rainbow
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and a Shinty team (Shinty is a Scotland sport that is basically field hockey minus the rules, imagine giving rugby players sticks and using a baseball as a puck and you get the idea). We only stuck around for the first preformer and then took a walk on the beach before calling it a night.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see someone likes haggis...I still prefer shortbread if you give me the choice of something Scottish!

Amanda (o:

(And if you ever want other Scottish recipes or something sent to the States, give me a holler - I have a cookbook or two and relatives over there.)

6:56 AM  

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