Scotland Day #6: Isle of Skye

September 13, 2014 § 3 Comments

To put it briefly, the Isle of Skype is a little bit like all of the beauty of New Zealand compacted into an island that is reminiscent of Caribbean skylines that have floated into polar climates.  And more.  It’s one of those places of the world that is absolutely surreal- beauty on such a scale that it seems like a painted backdrop.  One of those places that is almost intimidating in its honesty, full of the sublime and rich with emotions that you have never tasted, but have always been craving.  Those emotions that come straight from the earth, that are unfiltered and explode with an intensity that make you feel like a speck; an eyeblink, an single breath.

This island is nature, in all of its glory:

IsleOfSkyePeakOfStoer

After a late morning and several cuppa‘s, Mr. Italian and I headed over to the Fairy Pools for a morning walk.  It is an easy, yet breathtaking, walk through a field that ends in a series of little waterfalls, with the dramatic Cuillin Hills (er, Mountains?!) as the backdrop.

IsleOfSkyeFairyPools
After a picnic of exotic vegetable chips and an assembly of cheddar-y goodies, we left the western side of the island and drove through the heart of it to the other side.  The inner drive was no less impressive than the coastal route; mayhaps even more so for its sense of isolation and continuity.  There was nothing on the roads except for sheep (and those certainly did not lack!):

IsleOfSkyeSheep
We hit the main road again at Portree, a quaint little harbour town with colorful buildings and clear waters:

IsleOfSkyePortree
It was a pleasure to observe all of the fishermen going about their fisherman-ly duties on these heavy northern boats that simultaneously draw on aspects of bathtub toys and Antarctic expedition machines:

IsleOfSkyePortreeShips
I wonder if one grows accustomed to the chilly weather and rough conditions of this stretch of sea?  I was bundled up in multiple jackets, and there is Mr. Fisherman, with merely a little pullover and a cap.  Brrr.

IsleOfSkyePortreeFisherman
Our travels continued northward, into the Trotternish Peninsula.  What an exhilarating stupor, to be driving into this horizon for hours!

IsleOfSkyeRoad
The more north you go, the higher the mountains become, and the higher the cliffs get.  Here is the ‘Old Man of Storr’, one of the more unusual rock formations of the Trotternish Ridge :

IsleOfSkyePeakOfStoer
After a pitstop to look at the Lealt Gorge and Lealt Waterfall, we pulled over on the side of the road, a little bit before Kilt Rock.  I hopped a ‘Danger! Stay Away!’ fence, and then plopped myself belly-down on the edge of a cliff jutting a couple hundred feet above the sea… and found myself in heaven:

IsleOfSkyeCliffCoastline
I couldn’t find the words or colors to describe this place- quite a humbling blow to someone who considers herself a writer and artist!  And it was, I must confess, the best feeling in the world.

IsleOfSkyeCliffsFernsCoastline
We continued northward, looping back after another trespassing adventure into Duntulm Castle, as the sky started its descent toward the sea.  The northern tip of this peninsula was like an exhale to the breath you had been holding driving there- a sweet, satisfying release.

IsleOfSkyeMyHouse

(Can I become a shepherd and live here, please?)

IsleOfSkyeNorthernPeninsula
We came back down the other side, passing through the cliffy harbour town of Uig:

IsleOfSkyeUie
And then raided the Cooperative Food store for an international makeshift picnic consisting of hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, guacamole, pita bread, cheeses, and a bottle of malbec.  Then we raced up the Waternish Peninsula to enjoy our dinner with the most amazing (and freezing and windy) sunset to keep us company:

IsleOfSkyeColdSunset
Fingers and toes and ears thoroughly frozen, it was time to drive back to our cozy wooden cottage for another cuppa.  Wrapping up a day of natural splendor with a comfortable couch, thick novels, silly board games, and blues music to sway to provided the ideal contrast of simple to the day’s grand.  And then, grounded again in your flannel pajamas, you take a peak outside and the affair with nature’s indescribable scale begins again.

Because you see the sky, perfectly black, with more glimmering gems in it than you thought was possible.  At this point, you stop trying to understand, and you don’t care if the line between reality and fantasy is blurred, because you just accept your fragile presence in a playhouse too grand to comprehend the parameters of, and you plunge into the thrill of losing yourself in its boundless stage.

(And the next morning, this emotional journey just kept on growing in intensity, so stay tuned!)

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§ 3 Responses to Scotland Day #6: Isle of Skye

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