Exploring Scotland Solo: Isle of Skye Part II

Exploring Scotland Solo: Isle of Skye Part II

During my first trip to Scotland I had to visit the Isle of Skye. After visiting Edinburgh, Inverness and the Eilean Donan Castle, I discovered the Trotternish peninsula (the northern part of Skye) on my first two days on Skye, which offers a variety of things to. The other two days I had planned to visit other parts of the island.

Beautiful views on Skye

Day 9

So, on day 9, I checked out of my hostel in Portree and went to MacKenzie’s Bakery first, which had some great scones and was cheap as well (great for a traveler on a budget). I took the bus to Dunvegan Castle, which took me to the eastern part of Skye. Apparently, I had been traveling so often by bus these last days that I started the recognise several of the bus drivers that were waiting in their buses at the bus station in Portree, and I think one recognised me too. It is a small world after all. During my days on Skye, I bought a day pas for all Stagecoach buses on Skye, which was cheapest in my case.

Actually, I had wanted to visit the Neist Point as well, but no bus could take me that far, and I didn’t feel comfortable to hitchhike on my own. This day, I once more realised the limitations of relying on public transport. However, I had also seen some people that did everything by simply walking from A to B. So in fact, you can go everywhere you want if you have enough time. Maybe next time.

I didn’t find the castle very pretty. The inside looked better than the outside, but I was not allowed to take pictures inside the castle. But it is not the architecture that made me want to visit this place, it was its history. The castle is the seat of clan MacLeod, and has been so for many centuries. A lot of special objects were displayed in the castle as well, such as the Fairy Flag (possibly a gift of the Fairies!) that people believed had magical powers. The castle also offers seal tours, which I didn’t try, because of the rainy weather.

Dunvegan Castle

After visiting the castle I spend some time in the gardens, which were beautiful. They would have been even more so with good weather, but well.. I was in Scotland, not Spain.

Gardens of Dunvegan Castle

I took a bus back to Portree and changed for Broadford, where I would spend the night. It was not very late in the afternoon when I got there, but I was beginning to feel a little tired, and I decided it was nice to relax and read a book for a couple of hours. In the evening, I went for a walk (the Rubh an Eireannaich walk from Walkhighlands) alongside the coast of of Broadford. The view of the mountains (or hills?) was spectacular during the sunset. The walk was very muddy and often the path was hard to find, but it was at the same time a very calming walk with the best views (see featured image).

Day 10

Day 10 had arrived, which meant this would be my fourth and last day on Skye. My time on Skye almost felt as a holiday on its own. I definitely could have stayed here for a week or even longer. For the last time, I took a bus, this time to Armadale, in the southeast of the island. Armadale is home to the Museum of the Isles, about the history of Skye, and the ruins of the castle of clan Donald. I’m very interested in learning about the history of places, so I enjoyed the museum very much. The ruins were not very special, but the views from the garden were stunning. The perfect place to eat my pre-packed lunch.

Ruins of Armadale Castle

Now, my stay on Skye had officially come to an end. I bought a ticket for the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig. On my way to the island, I had walked over the bridge to Skye. It was a fitting end to leave by the ferry, seeing the island slowly becoming smaller and smaller.

“Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing, // Onward! the sailors cry; // Carry the lad that’s born to be King // Over the sea to Skye.”

Read more about my stay in Mallaig and Fort William

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