Scottish Weekend Part II

Winter has come. It’s raining outside. I’m snuggled up in a fluffy dressing gown and I have a mug of hot tea next to me. It’s also getting dark around 3:30pm now.

Oh yeah, and exams are coming too. But I feel like writing to get all the stress off of my chest. Because as magical as winter and dressing gowns and hot tea sounds, it’s still quite melancholy. Maybe I’m homesick. Maybe it’s the mountain of studying I have to do. Maybe it’s Maybelline?

I think I’m using too many catch phrases in this post. I’ll move on to something more original, like the photos I took on the Isle of Skye. In case you missed it, here is Part I of my adventure. I’ll wait for you to catch up, don’t worry…

You back? Oh good, lets begin 🙂

We arrived on the Isle of Skye in the early evening. After checking into the hostel and dropping our bags off, my friends and I decided to go for a walk along the bridge that connected the isle to the mainland. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I have never experienced anything like that view. The atmosphere – literally the clouds, air, and sky – was breathtaking. There was a soft blue-purple haze that blanketed the land and sea. Misty clouds diffused the mountains in the distance, creating the illusion of infinite space between myself and where the horizon ended. I felt like I was floating between dream and reality.

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This photo doesn’t do the isle justice, but I hope you get an idea of how lovely it was.

From the other side of the bridge, I could see the last glimmer of sun illuminating the town. In my mind, it looked like a porthole was opening from space ready to envelop the town into the icy sky. It was eerily beautiful.

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The last light over the town.

As night was starting to fall, my friends and I walked back to the hostel and tucked into some warming food before heading of to sleep. Little did I realise how beautiful the sunrise would be the next morning. I woke up early so I could grab a bite to eat before getting back on the tour bus, but as I passed the window I saw the beginnings of a magical sunrise.

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Cotton candy clouds, a view of the sea, and the beginnings of a magnificent view.

With all thoughts of breakfast gone (which literally never happens. I live for breakfast), I threw some clothes on and ran out the door. What I saw next blew my mind. On the far side of the bay stood the old ruins of a castle, and behind the crumbling castle turret was the brilliant golden glow of the sun. In my twenty two years of life, I don’t think I’ve ever seen something quite as stunning as this.

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A Medieval castle meets a new morning.

My friend and I watched the sun rise over the castle for half an hour before realising we had 20 minutes to get to the bus, so we grabbed our bags (and some toast) and began the next part of the journey around the Isle of Skye. The first stop was at the Cuillin mountain range and the bridge over Loch Sligachan. While I wasn’t able to take any decent shots of the bridge (it was crawling with obnoxious tourists… I was one of them…) I was able to have a nice photoshoot of the mountains.

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Cuillin mountain range and loch Sligachan.

While the loch was peaceful, it was also quite windy and cold so it wasn’t long before we got back on the bus and headed off to our next destination. To be honest, I don’t remember what this next stop was called. If I Googled it, my search would be “the one place with the pointy rock and epic view”. Seeing as that probably wouldn’t get me very far the name of this site will remain anonymous. The view, however, will be engrained in my mind for a long time to come.

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A panorama of the view. The hike was a lot more tiring that it looks, but it was worth it.

There’s a strange phenomenon that happens on the Isle of Skye. At least, it’s strange to me. The isle is so far north, that during the autumn and winter months the sun doesn’t reach its peak in the sky, directly above. Instead, it just floats along the horizon, never fully shedding its light on the day. I honestly felt like I was in a dream, walking between reality and sleep.

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Another panorama of the view.

After climbing back down the deceptively steep hill, we traveled through Portree, Skye’s capital, to a farm nestled along rolling hills and jagged cliffs. The juxtaposition of textures, colours, and light between the grass and rock was striking, though notoriously difficult to capture. In the end, my camera decided it liked the cliffs better. What can I say, I’m an ocean girl at heart.

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Scraggly cliffs, a placid sea, and a curious sky.

As the day wore on, the wind picked up and became much too cold for my liking. We stopped back in Portree on the way home and I snapped some photos of the colourful houses. Unfortunately, I can’t find them on my computer. That’s what I get for waiting three months to write about my adventure I suppose. Just imagine this: the smell of the sea mingled with freshly cooked fish and chips, the sun sparkling over the water as it illuminates pastel houses, and the sound of seagulls intertwined with banter between friends.

I hoped you enjoyed reading about my adventures. I had fun going through my photos and reliving this trip 🙂

~ Ailish

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