I mean 'Isle of Skye'.
We were fortunate enough to be guests of Suzy and Ewan at Ewan's family holiday cottage on Skye last weekend.
It is possibly the most spectacularly beautiful place I've ever been. That the weather was perfect certainly helped - I was assured it quickly loses some of that charm once the low clouds and heavy rains set in. But I can only judge it upon what I experienced and it was damn near perfect.
We drove from the Kyle of Lochalsh, on the Scottish mainland, over the bridge to Skye and up to the main town of Portree. As a side note, almost all of the road and tourist signs in Scotland are bi-lingual. They refer to both the English and Gaelic place names. This causes a bit of consternation among the Scots as it seems to be not only a complete waste of resources, but also an insult to those regions of Scotland who have never spoken Gaelic and who have had their indigenous languages become extinct. Now, the reason I mention this apparently irrelevant fact is that most of the place names indicated in Gaelic are just made up. Many of the things referred to didn't exist when Gaelic was a common language. So you have signs painted up that have Theatre written in English on the top, and An Theatre written in English, I mean Gaelic, on the bottom. Even the spellings that are different are largely unnecessary. For instance Inverness is Inbhir Nis. No kidding? The town of Tomatin is Tom aiteann. Get outta here! I do find it strange, however, that the town of Portree on Skye is spelled 'Port Righe' in Gaelic. This makes sense. So it is the Port of Righe? And it's a port, situated on a harbour. Makes total sense. So it makes absolutely no sense that when translating this into English they have apparently transferred the place from a working harbour to a place of unfortunate forests. Did I mention that Scots, on the whole, are completely nuts?
So here's Portree:
We then drove west to Dunvegan, and on to Colbost - famous only for the Three Chimneys Restaurant. What a remarkable place. We visited Neist Point Lighthouse with fishing rods in hand. The path from the carpark to the lighthouse severely tested my acrophobia, so it was no surprise that the final clamber over treacherous rocks resulted in me taking my leave and allowing Ewan all the fun of the fishing. I've never seen anything quite like it. As soon as his first cast hit the water he was reeling in a mackerel. I thought he was pulling my leg, but there it was - instant fish. He recast and was immediately dragging the line in again. Surely he's joking this time? Nup, there it is - another makerel on the end of the line. I felt embarrassed for the fish. This one was a fraction smaller, so he threw it back. However as soon as the third cast touched down it , too, was rewarded with another fish. I predict mackerel will be the next creature to evolve from their briny prison, given the rate at which they were launching themselves landward.
My acrophobia wasn't helped by feeling compelled to capture it all on camera. The jagged cliff are a stunning frame to a magnificent landscape, as I trust you will agree from the follow shots:
Our hosts could not have been any more accommodating, and their daughter (Neve) is just the most adorable thing. There are weekends away, and there are weekends away - and then there's Skye with Suzy, Ewan and Neve. Amazing. Thank you.
Until next time (which could even be later this afternoon),