Bucket List Check #10 - A Drive Thru Isle of Skye, Scotland
Despite being fully exhausted from our full day tour of Hebrides Isles yesterday, we got up early because I had planned another full day of driving, this time through the Isles of Skye.
First Stop: Glenfinnan Viaduct Viewpoint
Ok, all you Harry Potter fans, this stop is for you! Remember the Hogwart's Express train? Well, that train travels through this famous Viaduct bridge. The train's real name is the Jacobite and it crosses the bridge only twice a day, around 10:45 am and again on the return trip around 2:30 pm, and lots of people gather to get a photograph of that famous train. If we had gotten up early enough and done the two hour drive from Oban, we would have been there in time to see the train actually crossing the bridge. Unfortunately, coffee was calling us in the morning, so we did not arrive at the viewpoint in time to see my beloved Hogwart's Express train. But I did get some good shots of the bridge....
There were several places to park and walk along to get a closer shot of the bridge, but it was quite crowded, especially during the time the train is expected. So if you go, I advise getting there early to find a good viewpoint and setting up your camera.
Map credit: Aglobewelltravelled.com
Second Stop: Eileen Donan Castle
We continued on, driving another 45 minutes. At this point, the coffee had started to work its magic and finding a public restroom along the main road was damn near impossible. (Just a fare warning!) One notable stop we did make was at Eileen Donan Castle, (where they do have public restrooms and a cafe for lunch.) You could purchase tickets to see this beautiful 13th century castle that was used to protect against the Vikings and was instrumental in the Jacobite uprising, but we chose not to, since we were on a mission to get the Isles. But we did stop for several photos! Had I more time, I would have definitely taken the tour.
View from the parking lot.
View of the Castle from the Visitor Center
Third Stop: Old Man of Storr
Heading back into the car, we continued on, driving past Loch Ainort, a beautiful lake that on a clear day, I could have photographed a mirror image of the landscape, and the largest town in Skye named Portree. Here in Portree you will find "many" (which is a relative term) restaurant options. Once you leave Portree, restaurants become extremely sparse. After driving another 30 minutes past Portree, we reached a famous rock formation called Old Man Storr. The Old Man is a large group of rock formations that can be seen for miles around. It is part of the Trotternish ridge, and was created by a massive ancient landslide.
Mike saw it and wasn't impressed. And I thought it looked quite phallic. There is an hour and fifteen minute long hike you can take to get up close and personal with the Old Man, and Mike and I did get out and walk around. Personally, I thought the best view was the view from Old Man Storr, looking out towards the other Isles.
Fourth Stop: Mealtfalls
At this point in the trip, Mike, who was doing all the driving, was getting quite testy. Driving for over 4 hours to see some phallic rock formation had done him in. He was not having any more of this. And he was ready to be done. Fortunately, for me, he did push on, (but not without a lot of complaining), and I was grateful he did because we made our way another 15 minutes to Mealtfalls. Mealtfalls is more famously known as "Kilt Rock", because the rocks display vibrant colors and looks, well, like a kilt.
If you look past the waterfall, you will see the vibrant colors of the rock that remind many Scots of a kilt.
View from the other side of the waterfall.
Apparently, there are also some dinosaur tracks you can view here, but I was more interested in the amazing landscape.
Fifth Stop: Our Hotel - The Redwood House in Greshhornish
I had planned another stop, but at this point, Mike was officially done with driving, and we decided to postpone our next stop until the next morning. So we made the trek to our hotel, which was extremely remote (like, to the point that our GPS got lost). Once we arrived at the Redwood House, we were quite pleased. The staff were very friendly and to Mike's delight, there was pretty good wifi signal. There were nice places to sit, relax and take in the beautiful vistas of Skye.
Have you traveled to the Isle of Skye in Scotland? Is it next on your Bucket List yet? Comment below! I'd love to hear from you!