Friday, June 17, 2005

Scotland Day 6

I am being absolutly mean to dial up users, once again I will have 9 pics up for today, so sorry about that. Anyway, Abigail considers this day the highlight of the trip. Before we got there we arranged to hire a driver to take us all around Skye. It is really hard to convey what we saw, because while we stopped at places the main point of today was just to see Skye. The place is incredible. The landscape is rugged and beautiful. Sheep rule the inland parts and they freely reign. However, there scattered everywhere are remanents of a time long past. There are piles of stones and it could be the remians of a 16th century house (which we saw lots of), an even more ancient church (which we saw several of), a Cairn (which we saw on the island), or just a natural pile of rocks (which it has in abundance). More than any other place we were at in Scotland, Skye felt ancient. As if the land itself could just start telling epic stories of romacne, tragedy, and war from an era no longer remembered. But that is enough waxing romantically, on with the show. Our first stop was Elgol. This small fishing village is suppose to offer one of the best views Skye has to offer. Sadly when we were there, the clouds were hiding the Black Cullins, but it still is nice.
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From there we drove on (actually half an hour back to the main road) and then started winding through the Red Cullins, with a brief stop at a waterfall called the Grey Mare's tail
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We then stopped a the ruins of a truly ancinet fort that predated the Roman arrival in Britian. All that remains is the foundation, and the picture isn't all that interesting, so I am skipping it to be nice to dial up people. Anyway, we then went to Dunevegan Castle, the seat of Clan MacCloud. Image hosted by
We thought that it might be covered by a pass we had (and used for most things up till now), but it was not and really the castle was overpriced, and just full of mansion like rooms so we skipped going in. Not going to the castle freed up sometime, so I looked at the map and saw that there was an old church listed as a historic site, and it was near where we would be going anyway, and the driver had never been there so we went for it. On the way there we made the planned stop at SykeSkins Tannery, where we got to see how Sheep skins are made. Image hosted by
Yes, if you are curious we did get a sheep skin to use as a rug in our celtic theme bedroom Abigail is making, and if you are concerned about furs and what not, then you will be happy to know that all the sheep skins they use come from sheep that have already been turned into haggis. From there we continued out to the church, which was cool because it was right on the ocean and the sky was clear and it was possible to see all of the Western Islands (though the pictures of those only turned out so-so) The church was an ancient place that was the site of a massacre. It was also an even more ancient place of law, and had a judgement stone Image hosted by The way this worked is somone was blindfolded, and they given a small stick if they could get the stick in the hole on the firs try (the hole is on the other side of the stone) then they were inocent, if not they were guilty, and if they were accused were being a witch they checked to make sure they weighed the same as a duck. Anyway from there we stopped a pottery place because Abigail wanted to, but 8 pounds for a saucer (the cheapest they had) ensured we were there for less than five minutes. We then wound oursevles into Portree to eat lunch, and after that we headed north. The way Skye's landscape changes is quite remarkable. In the southern part it is very rugged, and that is the best word for it. However, in the north it is very green and the mountains are replaced by rolling hills (they are still rocky though). We got to see the Old Man of Stor, which if you are a Harry Potter fan might look familiar from the Prisoner of Azkaban. Image hosted by
We then stopped at another waterfall, who's name I can not remember (if you have not yet guessed Abigail loves waterfalls, which is funny considering how hydrophobic she is)
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We then made one last final stop at Kilt Rock, which has a waterfall that flows right into the Ocean, and it is a truly gorgeous sight. Image hosted by From that point we were sadly out of time, to stop anymore because of where we were on the island and where we had to go back to. This was sad, because we drove past a WWII observation post and a ruined castle, but that is ok because the drive itself was worth it. We ended back in Kylekin where we started. Since we could we walked up to the WWII memorial, and it looks a lot like the pitlochery one. We then waited a while so we could walk on the beach at low tide, and in doing so got a brilliant picture of the sunset.
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