The Isle of Skye – where Scotland drowns in mystical mist
Not anyone who ever wanted to experience his own epic fantasy can resist a trip to the Isle of Skye. The Scottish island seems to offer more fairytale views than any other spot in the world, for majestic rocks, deep, green valleys where the sunlight dances with the shadows, and lively myths await any traveler who wants to be enchanted.
The legendary and historical island, also called simply “Skye”, is one of the inner hybrids and lies to the west of the Scottish mainland. The torn island seems to be the essence of Scotland and has the flair of medieval sagas. Due to the many bays and holes that rise between the rugged cliffs, they are no longer located on this 1,656 square kilometer island more than eight kilometers from the sea. The noise of the waves is so omnipresent and does seem to enchant tourists.
A magical Island full of Myths
The “mist island,” as the Scottish island is likely to be called, actually appears to sink in the fog like the mythical land of Avalon. Skye is located in the rough Scottish Sea and the wild force of the Atlantic is noticeable everywhere – especially on the rapid changes of weather. For the locals, there is no bad weather, but visitors of the island get this feeling very quickly – the nature is so overwhelming that even a surprising show on a hike becomes an experience, as long as you have booked a cozy lodging in which you in the evening.
In addition, every angle, every rock, seems to have its own history, from which one can choose, whether one would unbelievably. Like one of the most famous landmarks of the island – the Old Man of Storr. This rock pin is located on the northern peninsula of Trotternish, which is considered the most beautiful peninsula of the entire island. With an altitude of almost fifty meters, the lonely guard rises over the coast and looks as if Obelix had forgotten a gigantic limestone.
According to the legend, this landmark has been created because a family had lost their cow and were looking for a way out. They were surprised by giants and wanted to flee, but their curiosity was too big. They looked back and froze to stone – since then the Old Man is visible in the landscape and reminds everyone that giants cannot be fooled. The surrounding stones are often referred to as the family of a stone that has become a giant stone, but his wife has fallen a long time ago. However, the »widowed family father« has turned to new tasks and since then has actually been involved in many films – because as a spectacular backdrop she is truly unbeatable.
From the Myths into the Scottish Way of Life – the Capital Portree
Portree is perhaps not quite, what one imagines on the European mainland when one talks about a capital. Instead, Portree acts like a living color patch between the green of the island and the dark gray of the majestic rocks. The houses of the small harbor town are so colorful that they offer a truly unique view.
If the pastel colors of the façades mirror the sky in the water of the harbor, the Mediterranean flair comes up and one would believe that he is in the south – if the inhabitants of the city were not nearly 2,500 rustic Scotches who, even if they speak English, simply sound like tartans and also like to allow good-natured jokes and carry on centuries-old clan feuds – today, however, rather than ready-made word-fighting in the pub.
However, during the season it can be crowded in the tranquil port, because when all the quarters are occupied and visitors are strolling in the city, the population is doubled. Nevertheless, the capital preserves the charm of a real secret and remains a mecca for individual tourists who want to explore Scotland off the beaten track. In addition, trails around Portree are of a high enough quantity to discover them all!
Sights around Portree
The journey is worth a stop already because the new main road to Portree passes the famous Sligachan Bridge. The venerable stone bridge was built around the year 1820 and has three imposing arches. In the background, the play of the clouds flatters the jagged mountains – here no photograph would be a sin. By the way, cars will not drive the bridge, so it is relatively easy to make a more human-looking photograph of the building in unspoilt nature.
About eight kilometers north-west of the capital, the village of Tote has a further sight to admire, which, like so many peculiarities of the island, is associated with a whimsical story. For many centuries, the Picts and the Vikings had divided the island among themselves and from this time on Skye, three pictographic symbols were preserved. These elaborately worked stones were built between the fifth and ninth centuries AD, and it is assumed that these menhirs were the gravestones.
Repeatedly such works of art are discovered during excavations. The stone at Portree, called “Clach ard,” however they appeared in 1880, when a dilapidated hut was demolished. For a long time, the mighty symbol stone had simply served as a practical doorstep. In the meantime, however, he is again accorded the honor he deserves. He is now located in a wooded area near the street, where visitors can find him well and, with his magical-looking symbols, still puzzles.
A Castle with a Park in the rough Wilderness
In the north-west of the Misty Island, Dunvegan has a very special place to visit. High above Loch Dunvegan stands the McLeod’s clan seat – which sounds like a set of a movie like “Braveheart” or “Highlander”, is actually the oldest still inhabited castle in the entire British kingdom, still in private ownership. The McLeod family has been living here for over a hundred years, and during this time has assembled some of the collectible items, which are accessible to the public and are truly worth seeing.
In addition to a lock of the Bonnie Prince Charlie, which is famous in Scotland, there is a drinking horn, decorated with silver, which holds more than a liter. The tradition wants the future boss of the clan to prove his steadiness by filling this horn in a train – but it is filled with wine, not with the famous Talisker Whiskey. Nevertheless, this torture remains something to which no one is envied – even if one is allowed to become the chief of a notorious clan after having passed the humid trial.
In addition, whoever is there should look at the proud table mountains with the sound name “McLeod’s Tables”. By the way, the bagpipers of the clan traditionally lived on the opposite bank of the hole. Perhaps the chief of the McLeod’s did not want to be right there when the young Whistlers practiced the anthem “Scotland the Brave” ?
The Fairies are simply everywhere …
Another highlight of the exhibition at Dunvegan Castle is the Fairy Flag, the so-called Fairy Flag. This world-famous piece of fabric can scarcely be called a flag, rather a threadbare flag, but according to legend, the clan was given the flag of the elves. The flag is supposed to protect the clan as long as it is in its possession, and when you consider how long the McLeod’s now reside on Dunvegan Castle, that seems to have worked. Scientists suggest that this little piece of silk came with the crusaders to Scotland and must have been an antique at that time, but who would like to believe in science in Scotland if you can explain something to fairies?
If you are looking for the magic fabulous, you should plan a hike to the world-famous Fairy Pools. Southwest of the capital is the small town of Carbost, from here you can continue to enchanted lakes, which are fed by countless waterfalls and shimmer in almost exotic colors.