In the morning, we awoke to a beautiful calm Sunday in the village of Tobermory. There were some light clouds, and the forecast called for some scattered showers throughout the day. Lindsay commented that it didn’t look like a lovely day, but I retorted, “No, actually, it is an extremely nice day because I woke up to find I am still in Scotland! Therefore, it’s an absolutely wonderful day!”
After fixing a hearty breakfast in the hostel, Lindsay and I decided to go for a stroll along the edge of the harbor and check out the architecture and shop fronts in this quaint and colorful seaside village.
The first ferry of the day was on time as usual, and we were soon well on our way, crossing the 5 miles to Kilchoan on the other side.
As we made our way back toward Kilchoan, we passed some adorable animals. At first glance, because of the markings, we thought these three critters were goats, but when we got closer, we realized they were wooly and were actually sheep.
We later found out they are called Jacob sheep. Interesting! I’ve never seen that type of sheep before. Usually, they are just all white, or all brown, or black, but not all mixed together like this breed.
In addition to the sheep, these two ponies were quite pretty and turned out to be quite the hams when we stopped to take photos of them. I swear they must have been practicing their poses for the tourists!
As the afternoon faded, we made our way covering the last few miles driving through the misty and magical mountains on the Isle of Skye to our final destination at Portree.
The next morning, we awoke to a beautiful view of Loch Portree and the mountain called “Sgùrr nan Gillean” about 12 miles beyond in the distance.
We enjoyed an excellent hot breakfast and packed ourselves a picnic lunch to take with us as we headed out for another day of exploration.
The itinerary included a side trip to the west to visit a castle and then a big loop around the northern tip of the isle to visit a unique museum and some stunning geological formations created by volcanoes many moons ago.
We got an early start and arrived at Dunvegan Castle just as they were opening their gates, so we had the place pretty much to ourselves along with a handful of other ‘early birds.’ Just the way we like it.
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the premises and the beautiful and unique treasures it holds.
Here are a few shots of the numerous rooms we toured and a few select items that I thought particularly interesting.
Down in the lower levels of the castle, we toured rooms that were the servants quarters as a finale.
Although it was getting late in the season, there was still quite a bit of color left in the flower beds and foliage to enjoy throughout the various sections of the gardens.
At the town of Uig, we decided to take a break, stretch our legs, and get a latte ‘to go’ down in the harbor. Many times when I order a coffee ‘to go’ they look at me funny like they don’t know what I mean. That’s when I need to correct myself, speak their lingo, and rephrase it to say a coffee to ‘take-away.’
For instance, the first one you come to depicts what a typical home looked like and what the furnishings were like inside. Quite a contrast to the castle dwellings we just visited!
…and some were lucky enough to have another building that held both a grocer’s shop and a blacksmith shop next door as well!
We got back in the car and continued driving around the tip of the peninsula, enjoying the views and the magnificent examples of geological features in the terrain.
Skye is nicknamed the “misty isle” because often, these formations are shrouded in a misty cloud, and they are obscured. However, today we were fortunate. It was kind of cloudy, but at least they were high clouds, and the formations could easily be viewed. What a treat! There is a car park at the side of the road where you can find the trailhead that leads up to the formations offering fantastic views of the surrounding terrain. We did not, however, hike this trail!
I also wanted him to see, and ride on, this unique turn-table ferry, the last of its kind.
This interpretive sign gives us a glimpse of what the dwelling must have looked like inside and how it was multi-leveled.
A little further up the road, there is a second site, called Dun Trodden, that we also explored.While we waited, we went inside the lighthouse and found all sorts of information about the ferry, the local wildlife, and the cute little lighthouse itself. They also had many souvenirs for sale like coffee cups, t-shirts, and decals regaling the many qualities of this delightful little unique ferry. I bought a decal sticker for my car!
We turned left on the main road and then another left soon thereafter to take us to the southwestern tip of the isle to visit Armadale Castle, the seat of Clan MacDonald.
The castle was built in 1815, so it isn’t ancient. About 40 years later, a fire destroyed most of it. In less than 100 years, even after being remodeled after the horrendous fire, it had fallen into disrepair and deemed unsafe.
You can’t walk amongst the ruins; only view them from the outside behind a small wooden fence. Still, it’s interesting to walk around it and the grounds on which it sits.
There is also a museum located on the grounds. It is filled with all manner of MacDonald finery & weaponry, as well as beautiful specimens of musical instruments and a complete, and lovingly restored regatta racing boat that has never left the Isle of Skye since it was built in 1897.