Sunday, July 13, 2008

Skye was the limit...

Isle of Skye was one of the destinations of our 6-day Scotland trip with my mother. This is a collage of pictures taken at the Neist Point Lighthouse at the western tip of this West Scotland island, overlooking the further out islands, Ireland and the Atlantic Ocean.

We arrived in Edinburgh on a rainy Saturday, took our 'natural' share of showers for 2 days in this late-medieval town dominated by late Gothic architecture and dark and gloomy skies that have few resemblance to its cheerful citizens. We stayed in the New Town, in a nice block of converted Victorian houses with good facilities.

We picked the car we rented from Edinburgh Airport on Monday and started our some 1200-mile journey through Callander, Inverness, Glen Affric, Isle of Skye, Oban, Glasgow and back to London. Apart from the enthusiasm of driving on the left side of the road in a car with the wheel on the right side, the scenic routes of Scotland were extraordinary, giving us joy and helping relieve some of the exhaustion and stress of short-term, long-distance journey.

Apart from the time spent in the cities, most of the journey was nature oriented. Although we hoped to have more hiking and trekking experiences, some of the distances took much longer than expected due to the nature of the roads (one-lane), accidents (of other cars), lack of knowledge of the country's best sites, lack of preparation and poor weather. Nevertheless, we were able to capture some magnificent sights especially around Glen Affric, Loch Katrine, Isle of Skye... Listening to Scottish radio with Gaellic, Celtic and classic music was an integral part of the trip as well.

Unexpected stopovers, such as the one in Oban greeted us with delightful and scenic breaks, and paved the way for my mother to plan already for the next summer. Other small towns on the way like Callander also added to the diversity of the trip.

Overall, one of the most satisfying elements of the trip was "food" that was dominated by salmon. Having only eaten salmon once or twice before, I've helped my appetite (and arguably my health) with 7 meals of salmon, in the form of smoked salmon sandwich, salmon steaks, and even with a special "salmon feast" in Edinburgh. It is a delicious combination of salmon pieces cooked in black pepper, ginger, mixed spices and coconut.

More entries will follow with various stories and close-up's to some of these destinations. I am hoping to update and add more pictures as soon as I can get them from my mother's camera as well. For the time being, "beannachd leat" and "oidhche mhath".

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