Tuesday, June 15, 2010


We bade farewell to Skye on an overcast, grey day. This time we used the Skye Bridge, rather than the ferry at Glenelg. The concrete bridge was apparently designed to imitate the arching form of seagulls' wings, but I was a bit disappointed - thirty seconds and you're back on the mainland. As convenient as the bridge no doubt is to locals, crossing the narrow strait by ferry felt a much more auspicious way of travelling.

Not far up the long arm of Loch Alsh is the famous castle, Eilean Donan. Its long history is summarised here: http://www.eileandonancastle.com/visitor-information/history.htm. Needless to say, the castle has changed many times since the first fortifications were built in the thirteenth century. The current incarnation is the result of a twenty-year restoration completed in 1932. Like Castle Stalker, Eilean Donan featured in some exterior shots of Highlander - there's a photo of a scene with Christopher Lambert in one bedroom!

Our next stop on the road back to Edinburgh was the Thomas Telford bridge at Invermoriston.

This was one of the few chances we had to walk in a forest. I've been in lots of different types of forests, from thick and dark New Zealand bush, resin-scented pine plantations, Australian tropical jungles to dryland savannah. The open, light Scottish deciduous forest, with light green leaves and beams of sunlight picking out a path through the leaf litter, was one of the prettiest.

Lunch was in Fort Augustus, at the head of Loch Ness. We'd just sat down to bowls of steaming Cullen Skink (smoked fish chowder, no lizards) when an RAF Tornado flew over. It looked to be at treetop level but was probably about 200 feet off the deck. Something different for the hordes of tourists, anyway.

Last stop was at the Falls of Bruar. The "Walk Highlands" website calls it a strenuous walk (http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/perthshire/falls-of-bruar.shtml)... err not really. But it is pretty. Plantations of ash and fir were planted at the suggestion of Robbie Burns, and the falls are crossed by a stone bridge that fits into the landscape so well that it fooled the geologist for a second or two.

And so ended our trip to Scotland. I want to return one day, to see more of the west coast, the bits of Skye that were shrouded in cloud, the Outer Hebrides and Orkney. In the meantime, it was south to England again, for the next (and most anticipated) part of the holiday.


Post a Comment

<< Home