Carbisdale Castle - and the King's pub!
Carbisdale Travel Blog› entry 8 of 12 › view all entries
We had a quick stop at Urqhart Castle which I'd been to two years ago with my friends Vaiji and Raju so I didn't bother taking a tour. Just the usual photo stop.
The drive to Carbisdale seemed long, it was raining and I was feeling sleepy. And if things couldn't get worse, it was getting dark outside, and the charge on my iPod was nearly running out. I couldn't wait to get down, and was getting irritated at one point thinking "so we're driving this far up north JUST for a night??!". It appears that a lot of people had conveyed the same to the driver and the guide so they kept telling us that it's well worth it.
Well he announced at one point that we've "reached" so there I was looking out.
It was huge (I mean it is a Castle afterall), well lit and surprisingly, crowded as well! With lots of families, fellow backpackers, the rich - poor - old - young, all staying at the same place. I'd never been inside a castle before so it was a cool feeling being inside one. The way to our room itself was so cryptic.
Had a good shower, went to the royal kitchens which were surprisingly not huge but very crowded, I'd brought some microwavable food so had that for dinner. Our guide Dave told us of this pub we'd all be hanging out that night... this is the same pub that the Royals who lived here apparently would frequent. And besides the pub and the Castle, there's really nothing else in Carbisdale! The directions to the pub themselves sounded interesting.
Got done with dinner, went with Brad and a few more people out of the castle to the pub. We went through these thick woods by walk. I was hoping that there are no snakes or any such, as we reached an eerie walkway (complete darkness, note), we could faintly see a sign asking us to press a button. Once we did that, like in the fairytales, the path just lit up. It was beautiful. As we were walking, we could see the Castle herself looking all majestic in the full moon night with the lights turned on. So we walk about a mile or so in the 'dark' with the lit paths, and do we get the pub? No! We then cross this bridge - not a proper cemented or tarred one but a bridge made of steel mesh where we could actually see the river flow right below our feet.
A lot of fun was had once inside, it was just us, about 30 of us and there was good music, good drinks and they even got a bloke to play us the bagpiper. Each of us could have a go, I didn't volunteer. It's not easy is it! We hung out here till about 30 mins past midnight, and we made our way back. The forst path again was well lit, the problem we had was the journey between the end of the forest trail to the inside gate of the castle. It was dark, at times we had to rely on the moonlight and our voices to guide us through. Scary again, but real fun seeing as we were in a big group.
Slept that night at 1am. Felt funny, I feel that I'd just gotten into the spirit of the Isle of Skye when the 3 day trip was about to end.