Sunday, 13 October 2013

Isle of Skye - Day One

The International Society at Glasgow sponsored a weekend trip to the Isle of Skye in the highlands of Scotland. Of all the trips they do, this is the one that everyone I met said was a must do, and it did not disappoint! It was a jam packed weekend that hit the highlights of the Scottish highlands - I can go home a happy girl after this trip! 
We started the weekend with a stop at Loch Lomond! Our tour guide, Hoji, was absolutely hysterical and appeased our request for "awesome Scottish music!" Listening to the "Bonnie, Bonnie, Banks of Loch Lomond as we circled the loch was such a surreal moment! 

Morning sunshine over the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. 

My friends from Centre College in Kentucky - so thankful to have met them! And we've pretty much decided we go to the same schools. It's crazy how similar Centre is to CNU! 

Traditional handstand picture! For those that don't know, I have pictures of me (and my sister) doing handstands at places all over the States and now the world!

One of the coolest moments of the weekend was completely unplanned! As we crossed over into the highlands we saw a huge rainbow up ahead. This is the first time in my life I have been able to see both ends of a rainbow at the same time. It got even better when we drove right underneath this rainbow. There is no other word for it than magical!

After a wee bit more driving, we stopped briefly at Loch Trulla. Located near the Bridge of Orchy and Glen Coe in the central highlands, this loch is surrounded by remnants of the old Caledonian Forest. Hoji also taught us some Scottish Gaelic words!

 Traveling along the same road James Bond took in Skyfall, we made our way to Glen Coe. It is often considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland, and I completely agree. I have never seen such a ruggedly surreal place in my life! Standing between these towering moss covered moutons made me feel so small in comparison. Pictures don't even come close to doing it justice.

Back to the bus, and on the way to Fort William for lunch! Fort William is the gateway town to Ben Nevis - Britain's highest mountain.

Fish and chips with a delightful view of a loch, a very Scottish lunch!

Quick stop at Loch Garry - it's roughly shaped like the map of Scotland. 
 Before crossing over into the Isle of Skye, we made a quick pitstop at Eilean Donan Castle. Located at the convergence of three lochs, this is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland. We didn't have enough time to buy tickets and look around on the inside, but we scrabbled around the rocks and tramped through the seaweed to get as close as we could.

Posing under the bridge to the castle! This is where the phrase, "Is this real life?" became the standard response to all of the amazing sights of the weekend! 

 And after six hours of driving, we finally crossed the Skye bridge to the Isle of Skye!

Before getting to the hostel, we stopped at a bridge to see the Cuilin Mountains... and play in a stream. We were all a bit wet and muddy after this trip, but all the laundry was totally worth it!

We spent the night in the town of Portree, known as the capital of Skye. It was the perfect little costal town, reminding us a lot of the pictures we have seen of Santorini, Greece. After living in the biggest city in Scotland for the past month, it was refreshing to be in this isolated yet lively place. 

The colorful houses along the harbor. 

All the fishing boats in Portree harbor, this is what reminded us of Greece. 

And then we decided to hop in a row boat. Why? Because we can! 

The hostel we stayed in! I loved all the crazy colors in the midst of the dreary climate!
 And last put not least, the night ended at the local pub with a pint of beer brewed on the Isle of Skye and a picture with a lovely Scotsman in a kilt!

Day two of Isle of Skye - coming soon!

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