Saturday morning we woke up to a little less wind, but a whole lotta snowy conditions. Nothing was really sticking, but it came down fairly fast and right into the eyes. It was our last full day in the Isle of Skye.
We decided to stop by a convenient store and purchase some breakfast. I opted for fresh fruit and a piece of bread. It was at least carbie enough to get me through some of the hiking we would have to do.
We headed up into the mountains and our first stop was Lealt Gorge.
Lealt Gorge got its name because the Lealt River passes through it into the sea. This space was absolutely breathtaking!
The Gorge is 90 meters deep. Now, I don’t really know how deep that actually is, but rest assure, it is VERY deep. I kept getting vertigo.
By the way, these photos will NEVER do what we saw justice. Just know that this area is a MUST see if you ever find yourself on the Isle of Skye.
We shimmied along the edge, trying to get as many cool pictures as possible. There were no ledges or wooden barriers keeping you away, it was a definitely an “Enter At Your Own Risk” situation.
While there, I suddenly heard that familiar “baaaa.” I turned around and there were a herd of sheep! Of course, I tried to get close enough to pet one, and of course, they ran off.
After we left the gorge, we traveled up a little further to see the Old Man of Storr.
I was thrilled to find there was a public restroom at the base of the trail and took the opportunity to relax a little and try to warm up. At this point, the snow is coming down and beginning to stick!
Due to the slippery and freezing cold conditions, we did not hike out there, but instead, got as close we could and snapped a pic. See those rock formations sticking up. Yeah… that’s it.
This is probably the most famous walk on the Island and definitely the busiest. The ‘Old Man’ is a large pinnacle of rock that stands high and can be seen for miles around. As part of the Trotternish ridge the Storr was created by a massive ancient landside, leaving one of the most photographed landscapes in the world.
After we found ourselves winding up and down the mountains, the next stop was the one I was most looking forward to: Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls!
Talk about a show stopper. I FINALLY got to see these cliffs I had often seen in movies overlooking the Atlantic!
I can’t even put into words how absolutely glorious this was. I definitely cannot even begin to explain how absolutely bitter cold we were, or how bad it hurt every time sleet hit my eyes or how hard the wind was pushing me.
Oh yeah, baby.
Next up was
Quiraing was up next! We had to hike up and over to get the view from this area. Just what is it?
It is a landslip on the eastern face of Meall na Suiramach, the northernmost summit of the Trotternish on the Isle of Skye. The whole of the Trotternish Ridge escarpment was formed by a great series of landslips; the Quiraing is the only part of the slip still moving – the road at its base, near Flodigarry, requires repairs each year. And boy was it a heck of a road. We encounter many of these right at it’s edge.
And did I mention the road was one lane going straight up or down with massive curves and limited visibility.
Oh yeah… and it was snowing.
Parts of the distinctive landscape have earned particular names. The Needle is a jagged 120-foot-high landmark pinnacle, a remnant of landslipping. Northwest of it is The Table, a flat grassy area slipped down from the summit plateau, with vistas of the Torridon Hills and the mountains of Wester Ross. Southwest is the Prison, a pyramidal rocky peak which can look like a medieval keep when viewed from the right angle – the ascent of this is an airy scramble.
The name Quiraing comes from Old Norse Kví Rand, which means ‘Round Fold’. Within the fold is The Table, an elevated plateau hidden amongst the pillars. It is said that the fold was used to conceal cattle from Viking raiders.
And be forewarned. These Highlanders aren’t playing around.
This is how far I could see from the top!
Note that you can see the curvy road here AND the sea waaaaay out there. And snow.
Lots of snow.
At this point, we were spent. Freezing and hungry. We headed back to the biggest city on Skye – Portree. Which is not really all that big. I would say smaller than Americus, but bigger than Plains.
We got into town and started walking down the hills toward the coast in search of fresh seafood.
Once we got down the steep hills, we soon discovered that most of the restaurants were already closed. Yes, we missed that window of opportunity again.
But while down there, we decided to just enjoy the views and sort of get a game place together.
Luckily, the bookseller turned us onto THIS restaurant:
The Cuchullin Restaurant in Portree was an excellent option.
I went for the carrot and tomato soup, baby potatoes and cheese board. Telisa got the Seafood platter.
While enjoying our lunch, suddenly, a parade of Santas with bagpipes and real reindeer gave an impromtu parade down the Main Street!
Seriously – it was one of the cutest things we had ever experienced.
After our lunch, it was starting to get dark, so we headed back into town to do some last minute shopping and even a little grocery shopping. We bought items to make the steak pie and a few other goodies and enjoyed having a small feast at the cottage.
I think we were both so sad to be leaving the Highlands the next day, we decided to just take it easy. We went to bed early, so that we could hit the road before light, and make our way through Glencoe, Glasgow and back to Edinburg.