Scotland The Brave: Part 2
Andddddd that is a castle.
Eilean Donan Castle-the longest inhabited castle in Scotland (yes someone lives in there somewhere). It sits beautifully at the point of three different lochs and served as major defense to all those warriors coming in from the northern Atlantic.
You probabaly recognize it from an old James Bond movie.
It was beautiful. Inside and out. We couldn’t take photos inside and we are respectful people. So, you’ll have to use your imagination. Describing Words: Tartan, dark wood, bear skin rugs, silver everything, horn goblets, swords, huge fireplaces, teeeeeennnyyy tinnnyyyy hallways and living nooks.
ISLE OF SKYE
Connected to the mainland by a two minute lonnnng bridge, the island is so lush and rocky in the middle and only inhabited along the coast.
There are so many incredible sites, monuments, hikes, and things to take your breath away on this isle alone.
Since we are no good at getting up before dawn, and we had royal castle to tour, we had to choose just one thing.
We chose right, friends. The Old Man of Storr.
We thought this was a sweet lookout point, but it turned out to be a hike.
At this point we still think it’s a hike, but as we are climbing and seeing these massasssive tall stone structures in the distance, we are like. Whoa. We should get closer.
And the lookout point path stops and the dirt path on the hillside with jagged stones for steps picks up. You just keep climbing closer and closer wondering how closer you can get to the rocks.
You can touch em.
And hike in between them, around them, and rock climb up in them.
But it got darker and rainier and colder up top, so we headed back down to find somewhere to warm up and sleep for the night.
LOOK AT THIS!!
You're hiking up these rough rocks and then turn around and see a rainbow over a tiny island formation out in the water. My mind still has not caught up to what my eyes saw.
OOOKKKKAKYYYYYYY. My husband is so handsome. I will show this to our grandkids someday when we are old and stationary.
This is the only time that it really worked to just roll into a town and pick up a bed and breakfast!
We found ourselves in a good sized town with a harbor called Portree. It was busy and we finally found a parking spot. And we just map searched B&B’s near us and happened to parked right outside of one. Called them, both of their rooms were vacant and we walked right in!
We ate fish and chips and salmon at this little restaurant and went down to a pub with a roaring fireplace.
There was a football match on between Tottenham Hotspurs (London team) and Real Madrid.
We sat next to this fire and played cards for hours as the game played out. Tottenham beat Real Madrid and a local almost cried(he said this was the first time they had beat Madrid).
Here at the Isles Pub, we tried:
Jura 12 Year
Caol Ila 12 Year
Glen Kenchie 12 Year
Talisker 10 Year
Talisker Port Cask
We woke up to THIS! It was so beautiful. And we came down to a beautiful breakfast spread in our hosts dining room.
I am so glad we knocked on this bed and breakfast, Richard and Clare were wonderful to us. If you HAPPEN to be on Skye, stay at the Rockview Bed and Breakfast!
We continued our way south, picked up afternoon tea and this hat!
Okay she left the hat :(
I can’t tell you where exactly this was (somewhere close to Skyfall estate). But we were cruising along through tall pines and tiny tiny towns and then we looked over at this loch, with two of the oldest boats I have ever seen and the mountain in the background. It was finally a crystal clear day and we all dieeeeeeeeeed.
Its a local marine entrance of some sort, but this was maybe my favorite site from the entire trip. There was such a Scottish feeling here and it is just their everyday life. No tours or attractions. But the everyday coming and going that happens to be so aesthetically appealing.
We stopped here at the Glenfinnan Viaduct. A quick hike up the hill and you have the entrance to the Highlands monument and the Hogwarts train bridge on the other side.
COASTAL WEST HIGHLANDS
We swung through Oban around dinner time. It was fun to get to see this town. It’s on the coast and the Main Street hugs the harbor. The roads are old and curvy and sometimes you follow one up a hill and it’s a dead end..... and you have to back down it...
Sadly, the distillery was closing when we get there. But, we visited a great liquor store to see what they had. Let me just tell you- liquor stores there are much different than here.
Cool young man in classic tweed blazer sitting by a fireplace between customer visits. Idyllic.
This old castle built in 1837 is now a hotel! We sadly arrived in the dark and left at 5am, so we didn’t get to see the 60 acres of garden that have won awards. But they own a little island in the loch that they sit on and there are so many paths and woodlands on the property.
It was wonderful and old and dark and kind of drafty.
There was a fine dining restaurant if you’re into that. But honestly, we got really used to pubs and cozy tiny restaurants, so we finished dinner and walked down the hall to the pub.
We played cards and were served so many great whiskeys from a bartender named Ricky. He was wonderfully Scottish.
Here we tried:
Kilchoman Machir Bay
Springbank 10 Year
Springbank 15 Year
Bruichladdich Octomore 7.4 Year
Bruichladdich 18 Year
The night again ended around a fireplace with cards and drinks (I am having fireplace withdrawls everynight STILL).
The water pipes made loud squeals, but other than that, it felt like a normal hotel room. It was a short night of sleep as we had to get up at 5 to drive to get on the ferry....to ISLAY!!!
Stay tuned :)