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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Highway (A82) to Heaven.

Friday 22nd July was my birthday. It was also the day I picked up Brenda from dialysis and we set out on the road to Skye. We were only there for 3 nights in total, but what a place to spend the weekend. There and back is a total of around 11 hours driving, but it was worth every minute. With Glencoe (mentioned in another blog)  behind us, it wasn't long before Fort William hove into view. It's another of my favourite places to visit, but we had no time to waste. Pressing on, we were soon turning off the A82 onto the Glengarry road. This was a first for me and didn't disappoint. At the top of the road, there's a viewpoint looking down the glen. The views are just stunning. You don't get any idea of scale from the picture below, but it gives some indication of just how spectacular it is.

After Glengarry, things just got better and better. Travelling through Kintail, with its gorgeous Five Sisters, then on to Eilean Donan Castle at the juncture of Loch Alsh, Loch Duich and Loch Long, I knew the Kyle of Lochalsh,and the Skye Bridge were close. Eilean Donan is an iconic castle, probably one of Scotland's best known sights. It's even better 'in the flesh' than in the photographs.

A short time later, we found ourselves at the Sky Bridge and suddenly we were on Skye. Just to be there was a thrill. I'd wanted to do this trip for years and now it was happening. One of the first things I noticed was the quality of the roads, other than the last couple of miles up to Neist Point, a private road, I don't remember any potholes at all.

As we came up to Sligachan, we were treated to out first proper view of the Cuillins. Again, they were every bit as spectacular as I'd imagined. See for yourself, although oncve more the pictures don't really do it justice.

And so we pressed on to Portree, the only town on the island, and its capital. On of its more striking features is Quay Street, leading down to the harbour, with multicolured  houses. 

It was at this point we hit just about our only problem of the weekend. We tried every eatery on Quay Street with no success. There were just no tables to be found anywhere. Luckily, the next place we tried, The Cafe on Wentworth Street, had a couple of tables to spare, although we didn't get there a moment too soon, as the place began to get busy very fast. Anyway, after a dinner of calamari and steak, and feeling much better, we headed off to The Rowans B&B at Garalapin, a couple of miles outside Portree.

What a treat the Rowans turned out to be. It's run by Anne Long with help from husband Graham. Anne is a natural at running a B&B, with a not inconsiderable talent for breakfast, I might add. Honestly, if you ever consider going to Skye, you should think about giving them a call, or visit . 

This started out as a quick description of a weekend in Skye, but it just didn't feel right to try to get it all into a few paragraphs, so I'm going to split it up a bit. In the next episode, we trot around the edge of the Trotternish peninsula. with fantastic sights, the best tearoom in the world and a couple of museums.

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