Today is my last day on Skye. What an island, and what a people. The landscape is stunning, the whisky is tasty, and the people are kind. For one more time this trip, I woke up way before sunrise and started my daily routine. My body was feeling the long days and short nights, and I woke up half an our late (still before sunrise). I couldn’t wake up, and sat on my bed for 15 minutes gathering strength and the courage to leave this early one more time. As part of my routine, I made a quick coffee, and while the coffee cooled down to drinking temperature, I got clean and dressed. My backpack was packed the night before as I always do, so no rush. I never eat breakfast straight out off bed. It takes me about an hour before I get hungry, so after chugging my coffee I went out to the Old man of Storr (the fantastic staff of Uig Hotel prepared me a breakfast package for the road every night!). My final hike!
It was a quiet morning, and already I saw the sun illuminating the horizon. I was a little late! I hate it when I have to rush, especially in the morning. The switch from taking it slow to being in a rush is one I don’t get used to easily. But I had to if I wanted to get to the Old Man of Storr on time. So I drove off, leaving the village Uig behind me for good (for now?). As I approached the hills the sunrise had almost start. I quickly parked my car and got out. Immediately I got swarmed by midges, and in a rush started my hike up the hills (and later realized I left my phone and navigation in the car).
Because I wanted to be quick I ran parts of the hike up. As I got at the first point from which I wanted to take a picture, I was exhausted (god, I need to start running more). So after my first try-out shots, I decided to take it a bit slower. At this point I realized I had no navigation, so I looked for an orientation point. This was simple, because I parked at seaside south of the Old Man of Storr and from the hills I could see everything clearly.
This morning, the sky was not spectacular, but the view was! Because I was late, I could not explore the area, like I did at the Neist Point lighthouse. This rock formation has been photographed so many times, that I wanted to find an unique point of view. I hiked up to a rock that gave me the chance to look down at the Old Man of Storr, and right there the light changed really quickly, as if the Golden Hour was delayed.
In these moments, you have to act fast. I had to make the decision: look for a more unique point of view, or take what I have. Sometimes, it is better to have a picture, that has been made a million times, or that is not as good as you like, than to have no picture at all. I decided to take what I have. So there are probably millions of pictures like these, but at least I got the chance to photograph this area. And the area is gorgeous! On top of the hill I met a France lady. She was touched by the beauty of it all, and rightfully so! After a small chat, and a few pictures I walked back to my car.
I had to leave Skye and return my rental car in Fort William, and drove back the same road that brought me to Skye. My schedule was not too tight, which gave me the opportunity to take a few pictures along the way. My tip for you is to calculate some time for stoppage during your trips in Scotland, since there is so much to see, you want to take your time to see it!
The road took me from the north-west of Skye, towards the south-east (that should be the name of Kim’s and Kanye’s next baby).
One more time I passed the Black Cuillin, and with this being my last stop, I drove off.
You can find the most famous lake of Scotland only 30 minutes drive away from Fort William (up north), Loch Ness. Since I was in the near surroundings anyway, this would be my final stop in the Highlands. After an intense round of grappling with Nessie, and a picture of the Loch, I drove back to Fort William . This is where my adventure started, and where it ends.
From Fort William, the train took me to Glasgow. This is a four hour train ride, but as I learned, train rides in Scotland are very different from the rides in The Netherlands! Why? Because the Scots are nicer people! And after taking my seat, the Scottish hospitality started. I sat down, next to an elder lady. As the train started to move, we started to chat. She was as retired teacher, and now travels Scotland to tell the children of Scottish elementary schools the value of the Scottish fauna and flora. A group of girls in front of use, where a bit loud, and where flirting with a bloke behind us. He realized that he needed to sit near the ladies, for a good chance of flirting, and he asked the lady and me, if we were bordered if he sat across us. He kindly introduced himself and asked what our reason of travel is, and where we were from before turning towards the girls. His mate, decided to sit next to us too, and started chatting with us. As his mate got a beer from the girls, I gave him one of my beers, and we had a good talk. When the catering arrived, the two blokes decided to buy all the booze available in the train. The elder lady, knew I liked whisky and bought one. I took some money out of my wallet, but the Scottish people started to protest loudly: “You are our guest, and you are not paying for a drink!“. After that, four hours of drinking and being social started as the train turned into a pub. A bit tipsy I arrived in Glasgow. Wow, what a people!
I think this happens to people who travel alone. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!
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