After visiting the home of Connor Macleod from the Macleod clan we continue to Skye. Before that, we stock up on our most urgent need in a small convenience store: fresh whiskey. A sip on our hikes, before going to bed and of course in between… there is not always a pub available here in the loneliness of the Highlands and self-sufficiency is the order of the day.
Skye – ‘The Isle of Mist’ as it is called in Gaelic. It is the largest and most northerly island in the Inner Hebrides. Most famous for its dramatic scenery – and of course its local whisky, the Talisker. During our visit, we pay due attention to both aspects.
Even today the weather is far too heavenly for Scotland.
Across a long bridge we come to the Isle of Skye off the British Isles.
We drive once all over the island and often stop for short walks. However, finding accommodation is difficult. There is a marathon taking place on the island this very weekend, which is why all the B&Bs in Portree, the island’s capital, are full.
We leave Portree again and find a few free rooms in a small village. They may be pink and clearly set up for little princesses, but we compensate with our masculinity.
We walk to the nearest pub. On the way there we see that the village youth is swimming in the nearby stream. The water there is even colder than that of the lake. The youth are tough.
In the pub we find food, beer and a pool table. After a few balls with some local lads, it’s back to our pink room, which we drink black with our whisky.
When we set off for the north of the island the next morning, we are greeted by thick fog. Not the weather we had hoped for for the planned hike at Quiraing, but finally the expected Scottish atmosphere. We don’t let ourselves be deterred and march off anyway. The GPS does a good job and leads us steeply up the slope on a path that can hardly be made out in the fog.
The ascent is exhausting and the haze blocks our view. But when you get to the top of the slope, the veil lifts. Hesitantly at first – then more and more clearly. The peaks of the rugged coast emerge from the cloud cover. The path is stunning. We march along the top of the cliffs, amazed and with a photo break every few steps.
Finding your way up in the fog is a challenge. The sheep have ensured that there is a maze of trampling threads along the slope and without confirmation from our GPS device we would not find our way.
The ascent is arduous, but worth it. When the cloud front clears, we have our South Seas weather again and a view over the rugged slopes, the small lakes in between and the sea with other islands nearby. Time for a break.
On the way back, the path meanders along the foot of the towering rocks. The largest of them even has a name: The Old Man of Storr.
A column of obviously outdoor-experienced Asians in rubber boots crosses our path. A little surefootedness is required here, so it is not surprising that some of them hold hands anxiously and do not seem to share our enthusiasm for the landscape.
We sit down next to a rise next to a particularly narrow spot where the Asian girls seem to be building a bridge like ants.
A few hold on while the others pull themselves across the narrow gorge. We pull out our hip flask and enjoy the performance. When the ladies are done, we make a little jump and stroll back to our car.
The visit to Talisker the next morning is of course a must. A young woman with the cutest Gaelic accent guides us through the distillery and we find it difficult to follow the guide in terms of content.
We let our charm play and actually get hold of three tasting glasses from the 18-year-old. Love at first sip!
The next day is waiting for us. Skye is part of the Inner Hebrides group of islands. It’s time to leave civilization altogether and head to the Outer Hebrides. – Chris & Alex