Be carefull, when walking in the cliffs. Especially in the time, when the birds are sitting on the eggs it could be that the other part of the family is flying " Kamikaze-attacs " in order to chase you away, like It happened to me close to the Kilt-waterfall and at other places, where I was not aware of the fact that birds were breeding closeby.
Fondest memory: How could I ever have thought, this would be a Sea Gull ??
It is a Northern Fulmar of course - thanks a lot David (Traveldave) for the information !!
Lough Corruisk is quite a remote lake surrounded by complete wilderness and nature, without any facilities, no restaurant, no kiosk, no toilets !
Fondest memory: Lough Coruisk is a small mountain lake, that you can reach only by walking some hours, or by taking the boat from Elgol like I did. That trip takes almost a full day and you will have about 90 minutes there at the lake in order to take a walk or relax in totally unspoilt nature.
This is a link to the boat that I took from Elgol: The Bella Jane
Flora Macdonald is one of the local heroines in the Hebrides. She was born on one of the islands and gained fame when she helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape from Skye in 1746 when the English were so intent on catching him that they put a price of £30,000 on his head. Flora disguised him as a Betty Burke, an Irish maid for whom she had a travel permit.
Flora was later imprisoned for a time in the Tower of London for her part in the Jacobite cause and later migrated to the US. Her husband supported the English in the Revolutionary War and they were exiled to Nova Scotia, then later returned to Skye. She met and impressed Samuel Johnson and he described her as “a woman of middle stature, soft features, elegant manners and gentle presence." He also wrote her epitaph: “Her name will be mentioned in history, and if courage and fidelity be virtues, mentioned with honour."
Portree a very small town, but as the center for visitors, seems to bustling and probably much of the time has as many visitors as residents. I don’t have figures, but it seems that about every third house is a guest house or bed and breakfast. It was somewhat strange, after spending the day touring the very rural and sometimes rugged Skye seeing tons more sheep than people to go for dinner and be told by the restaurant that there would be at least an hour wait to be seated. It is pretty picturesque and one view in particular seems to show up on every page on the net. So I got the photo of the harbor as well. A friend of mine saw the pic and allowed as how he would love to live there.
It is a lovely little place with a good number of evidently nice places to eat. We only went to dinner twice but were well satisfied. It also has a great deal of charm - even the commercial center I find appealing and the little colorful row of buildings along the waterfront appear in almost every website about Skye and show up on a lot of postcards. The population is only about 2500 people and almost 40% of them are said to still speak Scottish Gaelic.
It, like seemingly every location in Scotland, has a Jacobite story. Seem that Flora MacDonald helped Bonnie Prince Charlie to come here and saw him off as he escaped to France. You can even visit Flora’s gravesite in a small but charming cemetery a few miles from Portree.
Ok I looked at this site a lot before I left, and one thing i always saw was people telling you to beware the midges, bring bug spray ect ect. Well I was going what in Gods name is a Midge? Whats it look like, how do I know if I got bit by one?
Fondest memory: For starters I never knew something so small could leave such an annoyingly itchy welt! They are about the size of a gnat, really tiny little bugs. Almost like a flea. The fly though, and they bite like a misquito though. They itch and leave a bump just like a misquito too. I really thought they were just gnats, but noo definatly not. I didnt have bug spray, they didnt really bother me execpt for at night and in the "shrubbery" on more isolated hikes. If you are prone to bug bites, bring some off and some after bite. Sorry they were to annoying for me to let them land and take a picture of them!
Street names are few on the Isle of Skye known affectionately as just 'Skye'. I found just three, one in Broadford = Main Street, two in Portree, well it is a little bigger than Broadford and has the Island's only High School, Wentworth Street and Bank Street, I never found anymore. However the postman can have no fears here, I did discover Skye has a postcode IV = Inverness, Dunvegan's is IV55 8ZE, you would think a place as scenic as this would have its own postcode = come on Royal Mail and get your act together, give Skye its own postcode and provide an address for the Fairy Glen.
Fondest memory: I still don't know
Skye lies just off the Western Highlands of Scotland and is the largest Island in the Inner Hebrides. The stretch of water seperating the Isle of Skye from Scotland is known as the Minch. The west coast of Skye borders the Atlantic Ocean.
Fondest memory: I'll let you know when I make up my mind
Favorite thing: Portree, the Right Port, is the capital of the isle of Skye. Here you will find the most shops, like a big supermarket, and things like the postoffice and such. With only 5,000 its not a big place but it is a central gatherpoint of tourists. So it can feel crowded after driving through the hills.
When to visit the Isle of Skye? The best months are probably May and September. July and August are not so good as mass tourism rears its ugly head. In theory, Skye is large enough to find peaceful places even during peak season, but July and August are also the "midge months" -- I'd really advise you to visit outside the main tourist season.
Don't come here from far away for just one day. You run a high risk of picking one of those days that have earned the island its nickname "Eilean A'Cheo" -- the Misty Isle.
In these parts of Scotland, I am happy to tell you that it is inevitable that you come across words from one of the most intriguing and beautiful languages of Europe -- Gaelic! Most of the words you will see either on your road map or on bilingual signs. The Gaels have a deep relationship with their surroundings, so there are plenty of place names. Many names are descriptive, some Gaelic knowledge will help you to understand what the place is about.
This is what you could come across:
*Ath-, -Atha -- ford (Ballina -- Beal an Atha -- mouth of the ford, Broadford, An t-Ath Leathann -- literally the "broad ford")
*Bal-, Baile -- town -- (Ballachulish -- Baile A'Chaolais -- town of the narrows)
* Ben, Beinn --- Mountain (Ben Nevis)
* Sgurr -- sharp mountain, peak, pinnacle ( Sgurr Na Stri -- "peak of Strife")
* Meall -- Rounded Top, round ridge (Meall Gorm -- Blue ridge)
* Bealach -- mountain pass (Bealach Na Ba -- Pass of the Cattle)
* Eilean, innis -- Island (Eilean Ban -- the fair Isle)
* Aodann -- Slope, hill-face (An t-Aodann Ban -- Gaelic Name for Edinbane, the "fair slope")
* Allt -- stream -- the possessive case of allt is uillt -- taigh is a house. Hence Taynuilt -- Taigh an Uillt -- House of the Stream! It's not that difficult, is it? :-)
* Gleann -- Glen, valley
* Eas -- waterfall
* Druim -- back (meaning rounded ridge) -- Drumnadrochit -- Druim Na Droichead -- "Ridge of the Bridge"
* Sràth (pronounced Strah) -- wide valley
* Kil- (related to "cell") -- church
* Dun -- Castle, Fort (Dun Eideann -- Edwin's castle -- Gaelic name for Edinburgh)
* Coire -- corrie, gully
* Ceann (Kin-) -- Head, End -- Kinlochleven -- Ceann Loch Liobhain --" Head of the Lake of the grey water"
* Caol, Caolas -- narrow, narrows -- Kyle- Kyle of Lochalsh -- Caolas Loch Aillse -- the narrows of Loch Aillse
and, most importantly,
uisge -- water
beatha -- life
uisge beatha -- water of life -- Whisky! :-)))
As you can imagine, disabled access is difficult in such a remote and mountainous place.
The villages of Portree and Broadford are unproblematic, although Portree harbour is a steep road down from the village center. Elgol is the most difficult settlement I have been to.
A small guide of accessible places can be ordered from:
Mike & Hazel Wotton
Isle of Skye
UK + (0)1470 592369
Favorite thing: Here are some cute Isle of Skye brand (?!?!) Hairy Coo's that we found while driving around on our day trip... Cute huh?? :) I don't know what it is about these guys but I really love Hairy Coo's...funny for a person that's not too fond of cows... ;)
Eilean Donan Castle is just on the mainland near the Isle of Skye... We were told this is where Highlander 2 was filmed...
We had a look inside the castle but it probably wouldn't interest too many people, I'd say unless you are a big Highlander fan don't bother...
Remote and very cute cottage.
Red post box
Red phone box
Lots of sky, rough pasture, open and inviting hills, open roads and a weak sun breaking through clouds.
Fondest memory: This picture is the road to Staffin and the Quiraing, at the north end of the Trotternish Peninsula, which is a journey to savour.
Favorite thing: Dunvegan Castle is on the western side of the Isle of Skye... We had a look around the castle and its grounds...it was one of the spookiest castles we visited on our trip...for some reason it felt like there were ghosts there!