Scotland: An Island Tale

In a few hours I leave North America for the first time since 2012.  Just like last time I’m headed for Scotland.  Unlike last time I’m not there to help my sister move to a new country., it’s all fun and games.  By now my sister will know (or at least should know) everything there is to do in and around Saint Andrews for the three days until my dad arrives , at which point we are off to explore the Shetland Islands for about a week.  Then it’s to Poland for another 4 days in a new nation.  To start off the trip I’ve assembled a few pictures from the other Scottish islands I visited in 2008: the Inner Hebrides (mainly the Isle of Skye) and the Outer Hebrides.

Skyecliffs

The rugged landscape of Skye

The Isle of Skye has some of the most amazing hills and cliffs I’ve ever seen.  I still remember being in awe of the spires rising around the trails and country roads we travelled.

Skyeview

Amazing geology on display

The geography is in constant motion, being formed by slumping hillsides slowly giving in to the force of gravity.

Quiraing View

The splendor of the Quiraing

One of my most vivid memories from Skye was a walk we took along the top of the plateau.  The hike started out fine as we wove our way up the crags, but shortly after making it to the ridge we encountered a problem, a huge bog where ever step was another puddle waiting to swallow your foot.  We were past the midpoint of our loop and already uncomfortable, so we decided to abandon the trail and make the path as short as possible.  The views were stunning though, so that slightly improved our spirits.

Bogwalk

Trekking the cold marshlands

Most of this trip was spent on the Isle of Skye, but we were able to take a day excursion to the Outer Hebrides via a number of ferries.

Townlet

Leaving Uig and Skye

Our first destination was North Uist, where we only had enough time to do the island loop road before needing to catch the next ferry to the Isle of Harris.

Light

Lighting the rugged outer isles

Harris also has some unique landscapes including rough hillsides and amazingly clear, blue waters which look to be more at home in the Caribbean then Northwest Scotland.

Crystalwaters

Crystal waters

After a few hours of exploration it was back on a ferry to our cabin on Skye.

Ferrywake

Returning to Skye

The Shetland Islands are significantly farther out to see then the Hebrides, leading to an even more rugged landscape (hopefully), but also preventing views of mainland Scotland and the highlands.

Highlands

Looking back on the highlands

Needless to say I’m very excited to see what awaits me on the other side of the Atlantic.  Posts will most likely be few and far between, but I’ll try to at least provide a glimpse or two every so often.  Until then!

Photos taken 10-13 April, 2008.

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