That time I ran away to Scotland part 2 - From Edinburgh to Skye

Part two of my Scottish adventure. If you missed part one check it here.
This part is a bit more of a picturefest, as we did a lot of stopping off across the Highlands, and I've got so many random facts written down they would make this post six times longer then it should be and I've already had to split it into two parts.

So after a evening of walking and whisky it was up early to say goodbye to Edinburgh and hello to the Highlands.
I booked a 3 day tour with Rabbies Tours to Skye, and met my tour driver/guide Steve, and the rest of our group at Rabbies cafe, where we all bundled on to our mini bus and waved goodbye to Edinburgh.

Within probably about 30 minutes or so I knew I'd made another great choice in my Scottish adventure as I'd already heard the Proclaimers on the coach playlist and been told a story about Margaret Tudor (who I'd recently read about and was an proper bad ass lady).

The first stop on our trip was at the original Winterfell!!!!!!!
Yes! Kind of. We stopped at Doune Castle, which was used for filming in Monty Python, Outlander and the pilot of Game of Thrones, however another location was chosen for the actual Winterfell in the series and as of yet the pilot hasn't been broadcast, but technically we went to Winterfell.

Doune Castle

Doune Castle
{Doune Castle}

We got our photos (we couldn't go into the castle as it wasn't open) and jumped back on our bus to our next stop, the little town of Callander, where I  found true happiness, A Christmas shop with a dog in it!! Christmas shops seem to be a thing in little Highland towns. I wish I'd known before so I could have budgeted a little extra for Christmas decorations.
We had half hour to explore before heading off to our next location Loch Lubnaig.

{From Top; Christmas dog, Loch Lubnaig}

While on our coach we did a lot of learning. Our guide was full of knowledge about pretty much everything Scottish, from local legends to the history of bagpipes and kilts.
We had a lunch break at Killin, which as well as a lovely cafe/pub with a proper fire to warm us up (yea its chilly in the Highlands) also has some pretty waterfalls.

Killin Waterfalls

Killin - Scotland
{Killin Waterfall and village}

This Is where things went a little wrong. As in the road our driver had planned on taking was closed, and therefore we had to do a little detour which added a heck of a lot of time to our journey, because there is no such thing as a little detour where there are only two main roads.
But alas our driver took us as quickly a possible on the road to Skye, and the views were pretty awesome, there was hardly any phone signal and he had created an awesome playlist of Scottish music for the journey which he played in between fun facts and stories, so it was a pretty good, slightly extended road trip. 

Highlands Views

Highland Views
{Coach window views}

After a few more hours on the road and a couple of pit stops we finally made our way over Skye Bridge on the The Misty Isle of Skye. Not before our driver had asked Fergus, King of the Faeries to let us on and allow us to have a good time, (something that all visitors to Skye should or you will receive bad luck).

Our final stop was the lovely town of Portree, Skye's capital where we would all be staying in our various accommodations.

I chose to stay in Portree Youth Hostel, run by the SYHA Hostelling Scotland.
After the joy that was C0de in Edinburgh, I was a little apprehensive about staying here as I'd enjoyed my little bit of privacy that C0de gave me but once I got to my room, I was super happy. I was in a 4 bed room (2 bunk-beds) which had its own spacious bathroom, a few chairs and little table. Plenty of room for all of us and each bunk had its own light/shelf and sockets. So once I'd made up my bed, I went out to have a little explore of Portree before heading back to for a shower, food and an early night.

Portree - Isle of Skye

Portree - Isle of Skye
{Portee Harbour in the evening}

The next morning it was up and out (after breakfast which was provided by the hostel for an extra £4.95per night) to go exploring.

Now the problem with Skye is that the weather is unpredictable and sometimes it rains, a lot. Today was one of those days, but being the fearless explorers we are, we got in out minibus and our driver took us out to see some of the natural beauty that Skye has to offer.

First stop on our way was to An Cailc, to see a natural double waterfall and what is left of an old dynamite factory below the cliff, which you can walk down to, but we all agreed 'not in this weather'.

An Cailc - Dynamite factory - Isle of Skye
An Cailc - Dynamite factory - Isle of Skye
{From Top; An Cailc dynamite factory, waterfalls}

Next we headed a bit further along the coast to Kilt Rock Where along with stunning views and waterfall there are also casts of Dinosaur prints that have been found in the area. This over excited us, because basically we all thought for a moment we might be in Jurassic Park.

Kilt Rock Waterfall

View from Kilt rock

Dinosaur prints - kilt rock

Isle of Skye Dinosaurs

 {From Top:Kilt Rock, View from Kilt Rock

Dinosaur prints, Skye Dinosaurs}

Fortunately there were only casts of prints and no actual dinosaurs so we headed down along the road for a quick stop for a cuppa to warm up. and then we were off up into the clouds towards the Quiraing the highest mountain on Skye. Seeing a break in the clouds our driver hurried us onto the bus hoping that we would get to the top just in time to see and inversion but maybe alas we missed it, but still, being on top of a mountain on the clouds was pretty awesome.


{Top of the Quiraing / Up in the clouds}

Our next and final stop for the morning was the Faerie Glen. A cute little area where everything is naturally miniature.

Faerie Glen - Isle of Skye

Faerie Glen - Isle of Skye

Faerie Glen - Isle of Skye

Faerie Glen - Isle of Skye
{Faerie Glen Views}

Now we were advised to not climb up to the top of the Faerie castle, as it was too wet and muddy and we would slip. So as advised I didn't, and considering the amount of people that ignored this advice and came back covered in mud I'm glad I only went up one of the smaller hill on the opposite side of the glen. There is a lesson there – Guide knows best!

So we then headed back to Portree for lunch/clean up/warmth. I went a walk around the town, stopped in a few gift shops before settling down in The Caledonian café for a little while. Soon we were all bundled back on the bus and headed East to the Neist Point. Despite the forecasts saying it was supposed to be the area with the best weather, King Fergus had other ideas for us and when we arrived it was so misty that we could not see a meter in front of us, so for safety reasons (the big cliffs,) we had to head back to Portree.

Coming back from seeing nothing to a little town that I had already explored was a bit of a downer, and some of group also felt the same way. Luckily for us the weather over Portree was getting better and our guide suggested a 3k walk around the other side of the harbour. He very kindly dropped the six of us off and pointed us in the right direction and told us how to make out way back to town. And so Six went exploring!!

coming up in part 3 for hiking, Nessie and Ghosts.

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