Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Isle of Skye, Scotland. Part 1

Isle of Skye - Part 1

Mon, 21 Oct 2019

Today we would be driving from Fort William to Isle of Skye, with a few stops along the way. When we departed at 8.30am, it was misty, we had to switch on the windscreen heating for quite some time to get a clear view.

Neptune's Staircase

Our first destination today was Neptune's staircase -  a staircase lock on the Caledonian canal. There were no boats passing through the locks when we visited, so we didn't see any boats being 'lifted' up the staircase. We just took some pictures, then drove on to Glenfinnan viaduct to catch the Jacobite steam train passing through at 10.45 am (departing from Fort William at 10.15 am), re-enacting yet another scene from a movie - this time the Hogwarts Express from Harry Potter.

Neptune's staircase

Glenfinnan Viaduct - Jacobite Steam train

We arrived at Glenfinnan viaduct around 10.15 am, when the car park was almost full. We managed to get a spot and paid GBP 3 for the parking. Since we only have 30 minutes before the train passes through, we decided to wait at the viewpoint nearer to the parking spot instead of hiking a bit to the viewpoint nearer to the viaduct. The Jacobite steam train finally chugged through the Glenfinnan viaduct at around 10.55am. It wasn't a really long wait for us actually, but it felt that way as it was really cold that morning. There is also the Glenfinnan monument, Loch Shiel and Visitor Centre nearby for some souvenir / Harry Potter merchandise shopping or just to grab hot coffee, as it was cold when we were up there.

Jacobite steam train at Glenfinnan viaduct

the Jacobite steam train

After taking pictures and videos of the steam train, we walked a bit to Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan monument, then made our way towards Isle of Skye, passing through scenic views of the countless lochs and mountains.

Loch Shiel

Glenfinnan monument

Eilean Donan castle

Our next stop today was Eilean Donan castle, a 13th century picturesque castle where three sea lochs meet- Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh (from Wikipedia). We didn't enter the castle, just taking pictures from outside. Entrance to the castle is GBP10.

Eilean Donan castle
Eilean Donan castle

No more stops for today, other than the few stops by the roadside designated parking to take pictures of the beautiful scenery along the way. We then headed to our apartment for the next 3 days - The Old Post Office Earlish near the small town of Uig. Our little cottage was really pretty, with the lovely owner living just next door. We booked through and our cottage cost GBP 210 for 3 nights. As at Fort William, we would be cooking ourselves again for all our meals. We still had our supplies bought from Fort William since we knew we would be staying at an outskirt area with the nearest convenience store in Uig, which is about 5 minutes away by car.

The Old Post Office Earlish (OPOE) accomodation

our bedroom at OPOE
kitchen and living room at OPOE

Tue 22 Oct 2019


It rained all night, but luckily it subsided by the next morning. We started out at 8.30am to hike the Quiraing, a landslip of the Trotternish Ridge (from Wikipedia). We drove through the single track road after Uig, passing rolling hills, farms and flocks of sheep. The parking cost GBP 3 for 3 hours. We hiked for about 1.5 hours, we didn't complete the loop as it was very windy and drizzling.

hiking the beautiful Quiraing

Staffin Bay

From Quiraing, we drove to Staffin bay. We stopped at An Corran beach, the dinosaur stamping ground of Scotland. You might find the footprint at low tide.

An Corran beach
try to find the dinosaur footstep here

Nearby is the Ob Nan Ron, or the bay of seals in Gaelic.

another view from Bay of Seals

Ob Nan Ron - Bay of seals

From Ob Nan Ron, we drove on Mealt falls and Kilt rock or Creag An Fheilidh in Gaelic, which is a waterfall from Loch Mealt falling off from the cliff with dramatic views!

Loch Mealt

Mealt falls
cliff view from Mealt falls


Next stop was Duntulm castle, which drove to via the single track road. There were only ruins of the 14th century castle, and it was extremely windy when we arrived there. During the 17th century it was the seat of the chiefs of Clan MacDonald of Sleat (from Wikipedia)

Duntulm castle ruins

view of Tulm bay

Fairy Glen

Last stop of the day before going back to our accommodation was Fairy Glen, also a landslip like Quiraing, but smaller in size. 

Fairy Glen
Fairy Glen

Tomorrow we would be continuing our adventures around the Isle of Skye. Stay tuned.



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