Day 06: 17 August, Inverness – Portree (Isle of Skye)
The day started with clouds and some rain and bascially that weather stayed with us for the first half of the day. But luckily it stopped raining intermittently, so we could walk around outside and take a few photos, and the clouds on the photos are a good sign of the general atmosphere. The clouds hanging low above Loch Ness were pretty impressive. The variety of clouds in Scotland in general is probably the is one of the everlasting memories from this trip last year…
Our first stop on the west banks of Loch Ness was The Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, where we were found out all there is to know about the Loch Ness monster *g*. All in all it was a classic tourist stop, not necessarily a tourist trap, because the exhibition was interesting, but still… The Centre is located in Drumnadrochit and I’ll always remember that place for something else (besides the typical Scottish name *g*): Runrig played the Beat The Drum festival there in 2007 and it’s captured on CD and DVD, which I both own and I really enjoy listening to the live versions of their songs.
From Drumnadrochit we travel just a bit further down along Loch Ness towards Urquhart Castle, which is a pretty impressive castle ruins with a great and relatively new vistor centre and all that. Just like the Loch Ness Exhibition Urquhart Castle is a tourist attraction, but it didn’t feel crowded, because there is enough of open space. The funny thing is that we run into someone who’s working at the same (large) firm as one of the friends I was travelling with. Small world, he?
From Urquhart Castle we only drove down Loch Ness for a few more miles before we turned west towards the Isle of Skye. Before we crossed the bridge to Skye we stopped at Eilean Donan Castle, of course *g*. I think probably everyone stops there, but once again it didn’t feel overly crowded. Maybe the damp weather kept some tourists away. It’s maybe time to confess that I still haven’t seen the “Highlander” movie which made this castle so famous. I’ve been there in 2009 as well and back then the sun was shining so I took a lot more photos then and hardly any now, because it felt too depressing *g*
But just a few miles further the sun finally made an appearance and once we had set foot on the Isle of Skye we were presented with lovely sunshine and rainbows. I didn’t take a lot of photos in Portree either, because I’ve been there in 2009 as well (“been there, done that” and all), but there is one view I had to take a picture of again :-)