travel

Journey to Skye

I thought the trip to the Isle of Skye was going to be the longest part of our Scotland road trip, but the Highlands easily took that accolade.

Isle of Skye, ScotlandFrom the Glencoe area, it was just under two hours to Portree, a drive peppered with plenty of impromptu pull-overs for photos. In fact, one of the most photographed monuments in all of Scotland, Eilean Donan Castle, is located just before the bridge to the island. I heard the inside wasn’t nearly as impressive as out, so we did all of our castle-viewing and Gangnam-dancing from the parking lot.

Isle of Skye, ScotlandIt was one of the more crowded places we saw on the island, so I’d say our instincts were right. However, should you wish to actually go in and visit, admission is just £6, and the castle is open daily from 10am to 6pm.

Eilean Donan, Isle of Skye, ScotlandDespite having spent a stint in Edinburgh and coming back to visit a half a dozen times, I’d never before been to Skye—partly because it’s rather difficult to reach by public transit, and partly because the last time I was back in Scotland I was just shy of 23 and not of legal car-renting age(!). This time, from the moment we booked our trip, I knew Skye would be a priority.

Isle of Skye, ScotlandAnd it didn’t disappoint, not one bit. Every last scene around the windy mountainous roads was postcard-worthy, and the drive itself was a relatively easy one. To reach the isle from the mainland, you can take a ferry from Glenelg during the summer months or drive over a very short bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh. We chose the latter (though I hear the ferry ride is mighty pretty).

Isle of Skye, ScotlandMy mom is terrified of bridges—I can’t blame her; she lived in San Francisco during some pretty shaky earthquakes and was driving in Minneapolis a few years ago the day before the bridge collapsed—and she breathed a huge sigh of relief when she realized this particular bridge ended nearly as quickly as it began.

Isle of Skye, ScotlandWe were lucky during our time on Skye and greeted by (relatively) clear skies (well, lacking rain is more accurate). Every picture I’ve ever seen captured from the island is littered with gray and ominous clouds (and many ruined by rain drops on the lens!). Skye is also littered with sheep, a fact my sister couldn’t get over—if there is a word in the dictionary for “one who is obsessed with sheep,” I think Kari could be called just that.

Isle of Skye, ScotlandWe spent much time wondering what the different color markers were for: Blue for those who were just sheared (or “shucked,” as we liked to say) and red for those who were about to be…well, you know?

Sheep, Isle of Skye, Scotland(How many times we sang “Baa Baa Black Sheep” is not a fact I wish to disclose.)

Isle of Skye, ScotlandPortree, where we would be staying for the next two nights, was another half hour from the entry to the island. While planning this trip earlier in the summer, I spent a lot of time trying to decide exactly where on the island we should make our base—Edinbane? Uig? Dunvegan?—and in the end settled for Portree due to its central locale and bevy of services (i.e. tons of B&Bs and quite a few restaurants). Not once during our 48 hours exploring the isle did we regret that decision.

Isle of Skye, Scotland

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Comments ( 37 )

  1. The world needs more castles. And sheep. And dancing while wearing galoshes. And whatever that DELIGHTFUL looking drink is.
    MonsteRawr recently posted..$8 Worth of Lipstick or How We Kicked Halloween AssMy Profile

  2. Lucky you with the weather… Isle of Skye looks stunning!
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  3. I’ve always wondered what those markers were for on their ears. I thought it was some way to identify who’s sheep were who’s if and when they got out. Skye looks divine!
    Pete recently posted..Postcards from AlbertaMy Profile

    • I thought so, too, at first but throughout the country, the sheep were either blue or red. If that’s the case, then two guys own all the sheep in Scotland!

  4. For some reason I LOVE taking pics of sheep – they have such personalities. :D
    Erica recently posted..Barcelona is Full of Art: Street StyleMy Profile

  5. love it, want more!

  6. 1 cover photo of Eilean-Donan SLAYS. my heart skipped a beat for sure when i saw it hehe

    2 your sister looks kind of swedish ….wouldnt you agree?

    3 also, i pray there is gonna be a halloween post! costumeeessss

  7. You and your sister really do look so much alike! Love the sheep pics. :)
    Abby recently posted..How-to: guided motorcycle tours through Grand CanyonMy Profile

  8. Beautiful captures!! Loved the sights that were on offer! As far as bridges are concerned, try going to the Himalayas, some pretty scary bridges there :)
    Arti recently posted..10 Impressions from the City of TokyoMy Profile

    • Oh, I’m sure. The bridges in Scotland were hardly even bridges, ha! Though my mom used to live in San Francisco and had to commute over the Golden Gate or Bay Bridge each day, so I think that’s where her fear began!

  9. Okay well I loved this post to begin with, because I love Scotland and because your sheep-stalking reminded me of my family trip to Iceland (favorite quote: “What do you have to do to get a sheep to look at you around here?!”) and then you have to go and end it with a photo of my FAVORITE BEVERAGE EVER. Now I need a Kopparberg.

  10. Britain is definitely a good spot for Kari if she’s into sheep! Great photos, as always.
    Emily in Chile recently posted..The casa particular: where to stay in CubaMy Profile

  11. As always gorgeous photos, it looks like you had a really wonderful time there.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Yellowstone Park is dangerousMy Profile

  12. So the red marker is if you like your sheep meat rare? Or is it well done? ;)
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..5 Quirky Things to Do in Cancun, MexicoMy Profile

  13. I miss those landscapes….thanks for the great pics :)
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  14. This post made me miss Skye… I only spent one night there but wish so badly it had been longer! What a beautiful place.
    Ashley of Ashley Abroad recently posted..My 22nd Birthday in Cork, IrelandMy Profile

  15. Oh, what a beautiful story and journey! Love pictures of you and the sheep…maybe you should adopt one? Would the TSA balk at that? :)
    Charu recently posted..How Social Media Is Helping Hurricane Sandy VictimsMy Profile

    • I’ll just give it a passport and put some glasses and clothes on it, and I’m sure they won’t even notice! I *have* been wanting to get Ella a pet goat of her own…

  16. I’m obsessed with all the animals in all the lands and would probably have made up songs for the sheep, about how pretty they are and how sheepish they are. I’m crazy like that.
    terra recently posted..Hurricane Sandy ruins things, my hurricane duty face & my leg pelt.My Profile

    • If by crazy, you mean crazy AWESOME, then yes! I make up songs for everything—to SVV’s dismay—so you and I would be a force to be reckoned with if we traveled together =)

  17. I’m going to have to go through all of your Scotland posts because I think we are heading there in the spring! Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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  18. I’ve had a fascination with Scotland for a long time. I would love to visit the Isle of Skye. I’ve heard and read a lot about it and just time walking through the Highlands would be a blast. I’ve covered some Scottish games and festivals here in California but nothing like being there!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..The Army Navy football game: United we stand, divided we playMy Profile

  19. Jami McCormick March 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Hi Kristin,
    Curious to know where you three stayed in Portree and if you’d recommend? My family of 4 will have two nights there this July and am also challenged in finding accommodation for more than 2 people. Thanks for any suggestions!

  20. Amazing pictures, Scotland looks so beautiful!
    Marysia @ My Travel Affairs recently posted..Friday Lens Affairs #21My Profile

  21. loved this one – would love to go there! Its nice that you kind have mapped out what places to go and not to go in so many places!!!

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  2. [...] though we hadn’t seen them on the mainland, we figured they would be everywhere on Skye. Yet, after arriving on the island, we spent the day driving around Broadford and Portree and the [...]

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