Legend goes that if you put your face in this water for 7 seconds, you'll have everlasting beauty - it didn't work for me
Why is it called the Isle of Skye, you ask? Well, I don't know...I suppose I should look it up! Our day three was devoted solely to this island, and all the wonders, magic and mystery surrounding it. Our gracious bus driver took us around the island in a clockwise fashion, and we made several stops along the way to hear stories and myth of times gone by. Our first stop of the day was at a little river running under an old bridge. It is said that, by putting your face in the ice cold water of this river for seven seconds, you'll have eternal beauty. I was willing to try anything, so I went and did just that! Unfortunately, I became a mythbuster...
We then drove to the beautiful port town of Portree.
This little town sitting, on the Atlantic Ocean offers amazing views of Scotland that I will never forget. We even had the opportunity to check out some very old homes before continuing on. Our drive was incredible...we had the ocean to our left and the hills of the Scottish Highlands to our right...it's incredible just to say that I've been there!
Our group then came across the ruins of an old castle, situated up on a hill looking out over the ocean. Great defense against water and land attacks! We were then told a story about a king who ruled here many years ago...it seems this king, like any king of his day, despirately wanted an heir to the throne, to carry on his legacy. Yet, all of his children were girls! The king was dismayed.
Ruins of Duntlum Castle
..he had tried for many years! His wife was once again pregnant when it came time for the king to set sail. During the time he was gone, his wife gave birth to a baby boy! Each day the queen and her servant would look out the window over the horizon for the king to return. One day, the queen's servant spotted the king's sails on the horizon. Estatic, she waited until she could see the king on the boat. She then ran into the baby's room, picked him up, and held him out the window for the king to see. As she did so, she lost her hold on the baby, and he slipped out of her hands....I wonder what happened to the servant?
We left with a sadness in our hearts, but nothing in our stomachs. Our guides were more excited than usual, declaring that they were going to take us to the best haggis restaurant in all of Scotland! With them that excited, it was hard not to get excited myself! I knew what haggis was, but how bad could it be? This restaurant sat on the perfect location looking out over the ocean.
Haggis at the *supposed* best restaurant in the entire country...it still tasted awful
That blew me away was how reasonable the prices were! Four of us decided to split a big haggis dish, each wondering whether or not we were going to like it...(why pay full price if you don't like it, right?). We got our plate and...well, it didn't look appetizing...then the aroma hit our noses...and it didn't smell appetizing. A few made the mistake of taking a piece and smelling it up close before taking a bite...those people surely would have lost their lunches had they eaten anything. As for me, I held my breath and stuffed a piece in. I tried to chew it without tasting too much of the flavor, but it was overwhelming...overwhelmingly horrible. I know I went through gallons of water just getting that one piece down. The four of us each took one bite before giving up on the dish and just eating the potatoes.
It was at that point that we could see our excited guides behind us. Now, they had not ordered lunch...and we were unsure why until that moment. With a smile, all 30 of us passed our haggis over to our guides...who ate every single piece on every single plate. What a sight...
Although the view was breathtaking, so was the haggis so we got out of there as soon as we could. Our next stop was to kilt rock up the coast and very near to Ireland. It is so named because it looks like a giant has draped his kilt over the rock to dry (scares me to think about what he's wearing when he did this). That giant is of course Benandonner, the enemy of Finn McCool. This is the giant that Finn built Giant's Causeway to fight (check out my review of Giant's Causeway, you'll learn about Ireland's Finn McCool and Giant's Causeway).
The Old Man of Starr
The neat thing is that the same stones from Ireland's Giant's Causeway exist all the way over here in Scotland! Coincidence, or did the giants really exist...??
Our last stop for the day before heading back to Kyleakin was a hike up to the top of a hill that offered great views over the entire area. It was there we saw a lone house at the end of a peninsula, in the middle of nowhere. Shame on me for forgetting the exact story, but I believe a woman lost her husband at sea and waited for him there...very spooky.
At the top of this hill was a set of large boulders. It turns out that many years ago, an old man and his wife would come up here every night and enjoy the same view that we were enjoying.
Isle of Skye
(This is a different couple than the ones I mentioned a second ago). As it turns out, little gnomes live up in those rocks. At first, the gnomes were afraid of the old couple. After several visits, the gnomes came out of the rock and made themselves visible to the couple. The couple enjoyed the company of the gnomes, and the reverse was true as well. Years went by, with the couple heading up that hill every day. The gnomes were always delighted, and loved to see them. However, the couple was getting older. One sad day, the couple climbed the hill one last time. They told the gnomes that this was it; they would not longer be able to climb the hill to see the gnomes. The gnomes were so saddened! They did not want this to happen! Thinking quickly, the gnomes turned the old couple to stone, and that old couple still sits in that spot today.
Sunset over Skye
I chose not to get too close so that I didn not befriend any gnomes!
After a great day heading around the island, we pulled back into Kyleakin and spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the hostel. I literally ran up the bridge as the sun was setting to get some shots. I barely made it.