The drive from Tomich to the famed Isle of Skye was a magical one. We ventured back past Castle Urquhart (still wondering if this was the inspiration for the Shrek mean king) and Loch Ness, along winding roads through forest of green that meandered by bubbling brooks, raging rivers, over old stony bridges from years gone by and past eerie cemeteries with unmarked gravestones with some just consisting of hills and bumps where you knew someone was once laid to rest.
The most magical part of the trip consisted of driving the length of Loch Ness down the A82 and through Glen Shiel via the A87. The drive through Glen Shiel has you twisting and turning past some of the tallest mountains in Scotland…A’Chralaig, Aonarch air Chrith, Sgurr Fhuaran and Beinn Sgritheall to name a few, but none were as tall as Benn Nevis, the tallest mountain in Scotland which we hope to pass by later in the week on our trip south to Glasgow. The A87 was a majestic drive that no words can describe (although our pics try to do it justice). No trip to the Isle of Skye would be complete without a stop by Eilean Donan Castle. This castle tops the list for ones to see in Scotland and has been used in movies from James Bond to the Highlander. The perfect location for a fortified castle, nestled between 3 Lochs (Long, Duich and Alsh) and accessible solely by stone footbridge, Eilean Donan sat shimmering on the still waters in the mid-morning fog and floating as if ghost on its own private island. The drive through the valley and hour or two we spent exploring the castle and grounds was worth the trip to Scotland all by itself.
Saying goodbye to the castle, we ventured on over the Skye Bridge and into the Isle of Skye. This was by far #1 on the list for sights to see on this trip. Before coming, we had talked to people who were born and raised in Scotland, lived in Scotland and had traveled as tourist to Scotland. Everyone said head for the highlands and see the Isle of Skye….they were all right, we were not disappointed.
Checking into our hotel, Sligachan (highly recommended by Weatherly Travels) we wasted no time even though it was raining and storming the worse so far on the trip.
We threw down our stuff and headed out to complete the 1st loop around the island (there are two main ones), consisting of the A855 and A87. We saw it all and the weather actually cooperated and let up (although there was one point in time where Gammy went off on her own and we thought we had lost her over a cliff edge – it was raining pretty much from every angle but she wanted to get her shot, she got it all right and drenched in the process). The poor weather earlier ended up working out in our favor…there were more waterfalls than you could count and they were apparently rushing faster and bigger than normal. The drive was beautiful and we took in all the postcard shots we could muster, saving plenty more for the next few days. Our day ended back at Sligachan Hotel with a few games of pool, some fish and chips and mussels and a warm nightcap and toasty fire.