Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is said to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Having visited it, I strongly agree with that statement! As I was preparing this page, I once again reviewed the photos I took from there. I feel like I’ve opened up a veil of heaven for myself! If you don’t want to read a whole screen of text, you can skip right to the pictures!
The Scottish weather favored me this time too: the sun was shining every day! For the Highlands this is not even a rare occurrence, but quite nonsense. But nevertheless, it happened exactly as it happened and I was satisfied.
- The Shetland Archipelago,
- the Archipelago of Orkney and
- The archipelago of the Hebrides, which is divided into the Inner and Outer Hebrides .
The Isle of Skye is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides. The easiest way to get there is from Kyle of Loch Alsh or Mallaig. Mallaig, as we already know, can be reached by steam train, and from there a regular and frequent ferry runs. The name Kyle of Loch Alsh has an interesting origin. Loch Alsh is the name of the local water. And “Kyle” (Gael. Caol ) means “narrow place”. Indeed, at the location of this town, the Loch is only as wide as it is wide. If you stand near the shore and look at the other side of Caol you can see another town: Kyleakin. This name was invented by the Scandinavians. The Viking descendants tried for a long time to conquer the Scottish kingdom and for a time the Isle of Skye was under the Norse crown, while “mainland” Scotland was a separate kingdom. King Hakon IV (Wikipedia page about him) gathered a large army and intended to land it just where Kyle was. While the Norse army was gathering, they founded this city and named it after their king. The Norwegians lost the war, but the toponym remained.
The reason I found out this information about Kailakin is simple: during my visit to the island, my lodging was in this town. I went to the store and other errands every day and returned to Kailakin in the evening.
- Initially, I was going to take a ship in Mallaig and cross to the coveted island, which was to be traveled 18 km by bus. But on the day of departure, I decided to double-check the local bus and train schedules for my entire route, and discovered that the bus from Armadale had disappeared somewhere! I had to quickly make a new plan. The new plan was to start from Fort William, where I arrived with the overnight train in the morning, and take the steam train to Mallaig. From Fort William I was to be taken by this bus British bus drivers are something! – Where are you going? – Look at the printout. – Kaylakin? Oh, that’s good! – At least I heard the correct name for the city. I go into the cabin, the next passengers follow me: – Where are you going? – Portree. Portree? I’ve never been there! What’s so interesting there?! – It’s a Glasgow to Fort William to Portree shuttle bus! – The driver is always joking! – A female passenger explains to her companion All the passengers who wanted to get on went inside. The driver stands in the middle of the aisle: – Guys! I’m going to go! Everybody happy?! Until everybody’s happy, I’m not going.
- Oh, well! My main way of getting around the country was by train, but the railroad is a long way from Fort William to Kyle, and the bus will go straight through. I got to see parts of Scotland that I wouldn’t have seen from the train!
- In Kyle, the bus made a rest stop for the driver. And that was how we got to know these places for the first time! The bright houses on the other side of the river were Kailakin, and that’s where I needed to get to!
- Finally, the driver had a rest and got behind the wheel again. After a minute after I got off, I got a little closer to the driver and to the exit: “You look like you’re about to get off! – Actually, I’m going to Kailakin! You also made a note for yourself on the schedule printout! – Hmmm… That’s right! From the bus stop, it was a short walk to the guesthouse. I met some wooden heads along the way!
Scotland is the best of all worlds. And the Isle of Skye is the best of Scotland! Daniel, tour van driver.
About the first part of the statement I have a dissenting opinion. But I strongly agree with the second part!
“Anything that is not directly relevant to the story should be ruthlessly discarded. If you say in the first chapter that there is a gun hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it must surely go off. ” A.Chekhov.
That concludes the first part of the story of my visit to the Isle of Skye! I suggest we move on to part two!