Apr 30, 2017

Day 4 - Isle of Skye: Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the Quiraing

Day 4 of our Scotland trip
The goal today was to see as many sites as possible on the Isle of Skye.  We had prayed for good weather - a quick look on the internet and you will find there are plenty of people who have shared their one day on the Isle - and were in fog, rain and brutal wind.  The sky was incredibly blue for us.  It wasn't windy either and as the day progressed it was actually quite warm.

We stayed in a delightful bed and breakfast.  The family who owns it used to live in the same town I did in the 80's - in fact we would have been there at the same time!  Serg had the full Scottish breakfast - which includes haggis, baked beans (but straight from the tin, not like we would have them here for a meal - it's an Aussie thing too.  Tinned Beans.  On Toast.), cooked tomatoes, mushrooms, sausage, bacon, eggs and toast.  No one is going hungry after that!  

Our carb girl went veggie free.  I love mushrooms anytime of the day.  I love that in an Italian restaurant in Scotland you can get an appetizer of mushrooms and that they are called "breakfast mushrooms!"

If the food thing is confusing to you - then check this site out.  Maybe it will help - maybe it will just confuse you more!  It does look like they used my picture of Serg's breakfast!

 Isle of Skye is the largest Isle in the Inner Hebrides.  We did take a few minutes to ask our B&B host how to pronounce a few of the names that were in Gaelic. (I did know how to say Hebrides - it has three syllables, lol).  You get to the Isle over a bridge. Many of the smaller isles you can only reach by boat or ferry.  Many of them were operating on a reduced schedule since it was so early in Spring.

There are hikes upon hikes that you can do on the Isle.  If we had known the weather was going to be so glorious we might have stayed 2 days so we could have hiked some and hit some of the places that we missed.  But since we had one day - we mostly saw the places that it is easy to see with just a short walk.  A few times Serg and Karisa went up to higher viewpoints - but I had hurt my foot just before we left (a packing accident!) and was still moving a bit slow.

This is one of the most photographed spots in the world.  It is called Old Man of Storr. Serg stayed in the pull off.  All of these pictures were taken from my same spot - some toward the rock formation and the others right in front of where I stood on the side of the road.

 While we were taking pictures of the Old Man - there were 2 other cars on the road.  If you come to Skye in summer - we heard there is often not parking.  The websites will tell you buses that you can take to drop you off in the car parks if you want to do the hikes.  Having most of the spots on this day to ourselves was worth the trees and grass not yet being all green!

This shot is as we drove off from the opposite view.

Next stop was the Lookout for Kilt Rock.
 This is taken from the Scottish Tourist website:

The traditional postcard views shift in scale and perspective as you travel along the road and visitors may be tempted to drive crane-necked in order to see it all. The road is single track in places and a better plan is to use the passing places provided. Those who climb out of their cars are rewarded with the most splendid views. The inadequate parking at the Old man of Storr and at the Quiraing requires common sense to be applied for the sake of safety.

 This stop is between Storr and Quirang.  There was the sounds of waves and waterfalls.

 At the top of this picture you can see Kilt Rocks.  Obviously named because they resemble the folds in a kilt....

There are not many places on the Isle that have sand, most beaches are rocky.

Sounds of the ocean

We were making our way more or less around the Isle.  Next stop was Quiraing.  I had to go to the bathroom (WC in the UK)...  Not to worry - Staffin was coming up - here is the helpful information on the Scottish tourism site for this next area:

Staffin itself is a liberal sprinkling of white houses over the rich green fields of a successful and prolific township.
There is plenty of accommodation here for those wishing to stay beyond a daytrip and the village hall offers an amazingly comprehensive list of services. Under one expansive roof there is a cafĂ©, laundrette and a licenced mini market that sells woolly hats, beach toys and frying pans along with all sorts of other household goods and groceries.
The friendly local staff, here and in the Columba 1400 centre, willingly give impromptu tourist information and advice to those who ask. 
The Quiraing is well signposted and worth every effort to visit. Once used to hide cattle from Viking raiders, this astonishing rock formation has more recently been the location of choice for numerous films; “Stardust”, “The land that time forgot” and “Highlander” among them. The Quirang is at once unforgettable and indescribable but it is not without dangers.

Staffin - the "liberal sprinkling" of houses - liberal must mean something else to them!  Unfortunately everything was closed, so we were not able to get any wooly hats or frying pans, or a WC.....

 It is all a gorgeous drive.  I don't remember for sure, but I think we only passed one other car on the trips up and down.  Coming up the mountains the cars are pretty close to the edge of the roads.  But with sheep on the roads and no other people, we were able to stop for some pictures and take our time.

 Did you know Scotland has sheep, lol....  Lots and Lots and Lots of sheep.  Everywhere.  Even as high up as we were in these pictures, they were everywhere.  It is amazing to me to see them on the sides of some pretty rugged crags and mountains.

These pictures were taken right out of the rolled down window on the car.  He was sleeping close enough to the edge of road on his little ledge that we could have reached right our to pet him.  His friend wasn't so eager to be photographed.

 In this one you can see the road that we were coming up.  The brown is because it is not yet warm enough for the vegetation to green up - much like it is in Indiana in late March.

As you can see the views from the top are spectacular.  These shots were taken less than a 5 minute walk from the car park.

The Quiraing in GaelicA' Chuith-Raing

 The Trotternish Ridge was formed by a great series of landslips and the Quiraing is the only part of the slip still moving.  In fact,the roads require repairs each year.

If you are interested in the walk around the Quiraing - the internet is full of information - this is a site with quick description of it - 

You can see the mainland of Scotland and the Outer Hebrides both from up here.

 Look closely in the background of the above picture and you can see Staffin and the white houses.
Just under her feet you can see a small cemetery.

 Each way you turn - there is a beautiful view.

Here are some panoramic shots - if you are reading this on a phone, not sure they will show up.

I am going to stop here and do the remainder of our Skye day in another post.  If you have not seen the other posts on our trip - hit the home button at the top of this page - and it will take you where you can find them!

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