Getting from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye is a fair bit of a drive. One could do it quickly and make one or two stops along the way; or alternatively, one could take the scenic route. Anybody who has ever explored Scotland will tell you that the latter option will always be the better one.
The order in which I made stops along the way I can no longer recall. It is amazing how many details my brain fails to etch in to my long term memory. Forgetting such details reminds me of why I am usually so vigilant when it comes to keeping a travel journal. If you don’t write it on the day it happened, who knows how many finer points and great memories will disappear forever.
Glencoe is a memorable place. Knowing and having a basic understanding of the massacre that took place on the land means that the sloping mountains command respect and on some level, a feeling of melancholy. The thought of such brutal murders taking place on such beautiful land is incredibly hard to fathom.
After passing through Glencoe, it becomes obvious that one thing Scotland most definitely does not have a shortage of is castles. Some of them are recognisable from famous films (Monty Python fans should definitely check out Doune Castle), some of them are grand and in near pristine condition (Edinburgh Castle) and some of them are now ruins, shadows of what they once were, only to be rebuilt in ones imagination. One such example of the latter is Inverlochy Castle. It isn’t grand or big or overwhelming. But it is beautiful, and it is well worth a 5-10 minute stop on any journey through the Scottish Highlands.
The title of most famous Scottish landmark/attraction could arguably be awarded to Loch Ness, home of Nessie – a rather elusive monster. It was not the first time I had visited Loch Ness, but I enjoyed looking for Nessie just as much the second time around. The town is lovely, the pubs serve good food and the Loch itself is pretty damn gorgeous, especially on a rare sunny day in Scotland.
Unfortunately, Nessie failed to reveal herself to me for a second time, not that this in any way diminished my great mood.
The final stop en route to Skye was yet another castle. This time, it was the magnificent, jaw-droppingly beautiful Eilean Donan Castle.
After I had finished staring at the undeniable gloriousness of the front of the castle, I purchased a ticket for the tour, crossed the bridge and made my way to the back of the castle.
I have a theory that it is truly impossible to take a bad photograph of Scotland. Case in point:
The tour was surprisingly good, and the little cup of warmed mulled wine at the start was an unexpected, yet more than welcome surprise. It was a freezing cold day and it certainly helped to take the edge off before continuing onwards to Skye.
Getting to Edinburgh: Edinburgh is well connected through both air and rail connections
Lighthouse Hostel Edinburgh: My favourite hostel in Edinburgh, although it is a little out of the city centre
Camera: Images captured with an iPhone 4S
Remember: Never turn down a glass of mulled wine