When you have nothing nice to say you should always talk about the weather. Whoever came up with this saying wasn’t Scottish because when it starts to down pour in Edinburgh the language is anything but ‘nice’. Edinburgh is a beautiful city and it was the starting point of our journey. I’ll do a 24 hours in Edinburgh soon but right now I want to talk about the Isle of Skye because I’d rather be there than humid NY. There are a number of isles Hovering on the northern coast of Scotland and each is known for something particular, be it whiskey tours (which you do by bike and I know I’d end up in hospital) or music festivals. The Isle of Skye is filled with cottage like B&Bs and friendly folks who don’t balk at a stranger walking up the path. My favorite part is the drive up, which really can’t be put into words or even photographs which all look sort of cloudy and sad when I look back on them, but in person it is different. More magical. These are the lands where fairy folk once danced and princes and vagabonds roamed the open plain. The green is greener and the air smells like something vaguely familiar, oh yeah nature.
You leave Edinburgh, thinking you’ve just had a rowdy good time, and you immediately enjoy the soft hills and roaming wildlife.
Drive through the highlands, thinking ‘wow that’s a mighty big hill! What fun it must be to tumble down!’
And arrive Isle of Skye! Being thoroughly flabbergasted by how amazing the world can look and vowing never to return to another city as long as you live. (Despite the fact you already have a plane ticket that will leave you in Newark, NJ once your vacation days are spent.)
Scotland has the amazing ability to make bad weather seem like fun.
The rain spots on the window are just small reminders of the personality of the land and the people who are pretty hard-core.
There is also a lot to see around the Isle.
Dinosaur prints imprinted into emerald green layers of stone (thanks to generous moss deposits).
Tide pools, Fairy falls, bunnies, castles of varying size and wealth.
The Need to Know:
This is most certainly a scenic trip. If you love photography, hiking gorgeous hills, or gazing out the window and daydreaming this is a good place for you. Hiking can be strenuous if you want it to be (especially if you hike Ben Nevis back in the highlands) but if you use a tour bus (renting a car or doing a tour is necessary here) there is still plenty of time to galavant and once you’re returned to town you really just pick a direction and go hiking. (We stayed in Portree and used Highland Explorer Tours out of Edinburgh.)
A word on the food – Scottish food is delicious. It is made largely from grease, meat, and potato which spells yummy and also indigestion. I don’t care how old you are bring Tums and a ginger tea to calm your stomach. There was so much complaining about heartburn on my trips to Scotland I don’t know why they don’t sell Tums in the gift shop. (S and I were peachy coming straight from England and knowing full well lunch needed to be a power bar and not more bangers and mash.)
That gross but true segment being over, steak and ale pie is fabulous. In Wales I had one with Guinness and it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Haggis is pretty darn good if you can get past what your eating. It looks like a vegetarian sausage patty which is ironic considering what it is (lung and bits stuffed into the sheep’s stomach). Tattie scones are amazing, it’s potato and butter made scone-like (I shall be experimenting with recipes and posting those!) millionaires bread is like a shortbread with chocolate and caramel. Tunicks are little chocolate covered marshmallow fluffs. Scotch eggs are chicken wrapped around an egg and it is delicious, don’t judge me!
It also really is as cold as you might imagine even in July. My lovely outfit below is a wool dress, stockings, a sweatshirt I fashioned into an extra skirt, a rain coat and a wool scarf that smelled worse than the Highland cows.
Edinburgh vs. Edinburough the trouble is once you know how to pronounce it you can no longer spell it.
*this is a trip from last year which I never posted due to a photographic technology kerfluffal (what’s a travel post without pictures?!) but it is finally here and the others are following!