Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Skye, Part 1

This morning, after we toured Eilean Donan Castle, we drove over the bride to the Isle of Skye. What an amazing place, spectacular scenery in every direction, overwhelming the senses.

Our first stop was a ruin called Castle Moil, which overlooks a sad little village called Kyleakin. This spot has been fortified for a long time, and has belonged to the MacKinnon Clan since the Middle Ages. Before that it had Viking associations -- Kyleakin is Haakon's Kyle, and MacKinnon tradition says that the family acquired the spot by marriage to a Viking princess named Saucy Mary. This small keep was built in the late 1400s.

There isn't much left, but I enjoyed clambering around this ruin more than the tour of Eilean Donan. This is my daughter Mary on the path to the castle.

And a fabulous bush nearby.

From Kyleakin we drove north and then west, toward a range of rugged hills called the Cullins. The name may be related to the name of the Irish hero Cuchulain, who is said to have trained in warfare on Skye, under a battle goddess named Scathach. The hills certainly have an ancient association with storms, and Cuchulain has aspects of a thunder god. We drove much of the way on a one-lane road with two-lane "passing places" every hundred yards or so. This was no problem in late October, but I imagine it might be maddening at the height of summer.

We stopped at a busy parking area and took a short walk down to the "fairy pools." That's me heading off into the landscape, with the Black Cullins looming behind.

The Fairy Pools are a series of charming little water falls, with a pool at the bottom of each. They are exactly my idea of fairy pools, and it was a delightful walk.

And that was just the morning.

No comments: