17 August 2010

Skye High Scotland

When I first arrived in Edinburgh I had no intention to explore the rest of Scotland.  However, it only took a few glances at some postcards in a souvenir shop for me to change my mind.  Armed with a camera and some tees, I was inadequately prepared as I set out on my adventure through the Highlands.  Just because it is summer does not mean you don't need a thick sweater, a windbreaker, gumboots and thermals.

The first stop was a visit to Wallace Tower in Sterling.  I'm going to digress from the topic of William Wallace (the national hero of Scotland) because I would prefer to write about Hamish McKye Denovan (pictured) who is not only bigger than Wallace, but he is also more hairy and more red.  Hamish is a Highland Cow and is therefore awesome.

After visiting my favourite Scot, we made our way through the dramatic mountain landscapes of Glencoe and then followed the blissful shores of Loch Lochy (pictured).  Loch means Lake in Scotland, but Loch Lochy does not mean Lake Lakey.  That would be sweet if it did.

We spent the night in Fort Augustus, more commonly known as the home of Loch Ness.  The Loch Ness is impressively wide, deep and long; I learnt that if you took all the water from England's lakes, streams and reservoirs and poured it into a basin the size of Loch Ness, there would still be room for more.  Therefore England has nothing on the Loch Ness (ie. England < Loch Ness). I brought my 300mm lens with me on the cruise and managed to snap a very rare shot of Nessie the elusive monster (pictured).

The following day we passed the beautiful Eilean Donan Castle, a castle perched on the shores of Loch Duich.  Our main destination of the day was the Isle of Skye (pictured).  It was one of the most breathtaking sights I have ever witnessed.  It is surrounded by luscious green mountains piercing through the clouds above.  Mountain sheep scatter the mountains to give the impression of white mountain freckles.

We passed through a kissing gate to reach some more impressive sights on the island.  The purpose of a kissing gate is to prevent livestock from passing through a gate.  Being our playful selves, we decided to follow folk tradition and refused entry to the next person until we presented them with a kiss.

That night a klansman dressed me in a kilt that had been sanitised by being soaked in urine (as this was how it was traditionally done, apparently).  The only redeeming factor was that he later told me it was the exact same kilt that had been worn by Sean Connery and Mel Gibson (while he was here to film Braveheart)!  Later that night we partied the night away in kilts.

On the final day we visited Culloden Moor (pictured), the site of the defeat of the Jacobite uprising, followed by the Cairns of Clava, a mysterious rock formation similar to stone henge.

The final stop before returning to Edinburgh was a dreamy forest/waterhole (pictured) which I wish I knew the name of.  It reminds me of a place I hold very close to my heart near Brisbane; a place that only my closest friends would recognise.

Peace, Love, Unity, Respect


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