Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

I pushed the accelerator of the Peugeot 3008 to the floor, as I slammed it from fifth into third to accelerate up the hill and around the corner while the rock wall on the passenger side caused the proximity sensor to light and the lorry passed within inches on the driver’s side.  Lock one, lock two, Loch Lomond on the right and an ancient wall on the left.

Just the bathroom - a really nice, cottage-y bathroom, at Loch Lomond

Bathrooms at Loch Lomond

Sarah taking a photo at Loch Lomond, looking out over the large lake

Sarah Photographs Loch Lomond

A tree stands alone, reaching out over Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Flowers lay on the exposed roots of the tree hanging out over Loch Lomond

Flowers On the Alone Tree

A stone wall and steps down to a beach area at Loch Lomond

Stone Wall Over a Bridge

Driving in Scotland was terrifying for the five hours it took to go those first 200 miles up to Portree.  The roads are too narrow for an SUV, and 18-wheelers are cruising along at 60. Which is the speed limit.  Roads twist every 50 feet, it’s raining, and the locals are having none of your hesitation.  They’re very politely having none of your hesitation.

Loch Lomond, Just North of Glasgow

So don’t hesitate, and don’t screw up. Just go. Faster.

This was a stressful, demanding five hours. There are regular stops, even a few in the middle of nowhere, and everybody can make a good espresso (thank the gods for coffee in Europe). Sarah was accommodating though. And the vehicle had sensors which helped me stay in my lane and on the road.  It also had this awesome thing which indicated the speed limit very accurately at every place. Once I figured out the cruise control, it also integrated automatically into that.

Rest stops in the highlands are beautiful.  I'm certain I could just walk out across this field and up that very large hill-mountain.  Nobody would bother me or stop me.  My feet would get soaked, but I could do it.

Fields at a Rest Stop

Portree was a beauty. We stayed at Grenitote B&B, booked through Airbnb, and had a wonderful time. The town is charming, and our host even more so.  He gave us a choice of breakfast, and we got smoked salmon with scrambled eggs toast and coffee.  He sprinkled beetroot powder and blueberries on top, which was unexpectedly amazing.

Portree's Harbour at night, from a main street that curls around the town

Portree at Night

Looking down at Portree from the tower on "The Lump" at night

Portree at Night

Looking down at Portree from the tower on "The Lump" at night

Portree at Night

Portree's Harbour in the Day

Portree’s Harbour in the Day

Portree's Harbour in the Day

Portree’s Harbour in the Day

Looking out towards the sea from Portree

Towards the Sea from Portree

How to see Skye…

http://www.earthtrekkers.com/perfect-isle-of-skye-itinerary

We followed their day two recommendations, fairly precisely.  I really wanted to see Talisker, and we were not disappointed.  Fairy Pools were beautiful too… I’ve got nothing, word wise, but you can check out my pictures. The short hike is very rewarding.  Neist Point was a great short hike too, but not Fairy Pools.

The Fairy Pools

Sign showing you're at the Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools

Sarah shootin photos at the Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools

The stream along the Fairy Pools hike

Fairy Pools

Some waterfalls along the trail at the Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools

Some waterfalls along the trail at the Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools

The stream along the Fairy Pools hike

Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools flowing into each other

Fairy Pools

The beginning to the Some waterfalls along the trail at the Fairy Pools, the water cascading down falls from the pools

Fairy Pools

One of the Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools

Down next to one of the pools

Fairy Pools

One of the pools and waterfalls

Fairy Pools

The end of the Fairy Pools trail

Fairy Pools

Talisker Distillery

Talisker Distillery

Talisker Distillery

I needed a coffee by this point, and an enterprising Scot, taking a break from his mechanical engineering job to be in Skye with his parents, owned it.  They did a great everything you can do with an espresso machine.  When I stopped by these two old fisherman dudes were hanging out drinking flat whites and talking about the sea.

Charming Coffee Shop at Talisker Distillery

The tasting area at Talisker Distillery

Talisker Distillery

This Beautiful Woman that Loves Me at Lunch near Talisker Distillery

This Beautiful Woman that Loves Me at Lunch near Talisker Distillery

A large cliff in the foreground, and the lighthouse in the background, the Neist Point hike takes you past all of this

Neist Point

On approach at Neist Point

Neist Point

On approach at Neist Point

Neist Point

Lighthouse at Neist Point

Neist Point

Lighthouse at Neist Point

Neist Point

Lighthouse at Neist Point

Neist Point

Sarah looks towards the barren ocean at Neist Point

Neist Point

The high point of our visit, though, was Dunvegan Castle. This is the seat of the Highlander.

Dunvegan Castle

The entrance to Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle

There can be only one.

The entrance to Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle

The entrance to Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle

A cannon looking out towards the water at Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle

The chief of can McLeod was in while we were visiting his castle. We didn’t run into the guy, but still got to look around his beautiful place. Even more impressive than the castle were the gardens. There are at least six distinct gardens, each with a different focus, all gorgeous, all impressive.

Walking past the gardens towards the entrance to Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle

Part of a stream in a garden at Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle

Entrance to the Walled Garden at Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle

The Monkey Puzzle Tree in a garden at Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle

Our itinerary up on Skye was awesome.  Not difficult to stay on schedule, but we still got to see a ton.  We had haggis twice up on Skye, and it was great both times.

On our return to Glasgow, we stayed at the Alamo Guest House. This place is luxurious. I was looking forward to spending some time here, if only for a soak in the tub, and we were not disappointed.

We departed Glasgow through their airport, headed to Dublin. Glasgow’s airport is setup similar to Stansted, with great security and terrible duty-free.  I held back my vomit long enough to make it through the nightmare that was the airport mall, and fortunately it was shorter than Stansted’s.  Ryanair had a delay that was very poorly communicated, but otherwise we flew to Dublin without incident.

Dublin! Next post.

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