Before we started this day, we did a little before-breakfast-excursion to the Falls of Rha. It’s a waterfall not far from the Cowshed we found incidentally when looking at picture postcards after dinner at the Uig Hotel the night before. We asked and got directions. It’s a short walk from the Rha Bridge in Uig and well worth a visit. Pictures to come!
What was meant to be a simple day driving around the Isle turned out to be extremely full of experiences again. We started at Uig, of course, driving off into the direction of Portree but turning right, taking the A 850, towards Dunvegan. We didn’t visit the castle and we actually felt a little used to the landscape by now. So there was no need to stop at every single turn. We headed straight to the Talisker Distillery in Carbost. Siobhan, who usually doesn’t drink any alcohol, really loves Whisky and Talisker, of course, is her favourite. Not the simple beginner’s one, though. No. That’s for beginners, you see. Let’s start with the Distiller’s Edition or the Storm Edition 😉 We didn’t take the tour since you’d better book it in advance, but we did visit the Talikser Visitor Center, which is designed beautifully. (Also, not unimportant information on a trip like this: good toilets.) When you get out of the car you can smell the whisky all around. I liked the place for visual reasons, of course. But Siobhan really woke up and became very bubbly and social. She was in her element, here.
In Carbost we met two nice guys from London, actually at least one was originally from Edinburg (lucky), but lives in London now. He and his friend came up by train and were now biking. They based themselves in Broadford and were now heading to Edinburgh to visit his family. We met in front of the one cute café right across the street from the distillery, where he was taking his lunch while his friend was buying some delicious looking flapjacks (did I mention that I still have not eaten anything Siobhan wouldn’t allow? This is my seventh day without sugar!) Sammy kept ogling his lunch and so we started talking. The lunch came in a box right from The Oyster Shed. It really is a shed but they offer fresh seafood and interesting condements and gifts. So if you ever come up here, stop by. And don’t do it in a rush because you’ll be waiting in line for your meal. But it’s worth it.
We took our lunch to Talisker, the place itself, where we planned to visit the beach. It’s a wonderful experience. It’s about half an hour’s walk (we didn’t clock it, sorry) through a wide valley which is already beauiful in itself. Before you can see the beach you become aware of a huge waterfall falling onto it from the right side. The beach itself is very special. Usually you have to fly up to Iceland for black sand. Or you just take a trip to Talisker Beach in Talisker Bay. While I have to say that the landscape in Skye’s north is more to my liking, this spot might be my personal favourite on Skye.
Since we liked it so much here, even with the rainy curtains that came onto us from the sea from time to time, it was rather late when we walked back. There are no restrooms or toilets anywhere in the area, no cafés. So instead of driving directly to the Fairy Pools on the foot of the Cuillin Mountains, we had to go to the Sligachan Hotel a little further down the road to Portree. They were extremely nice. When you use their toilets please leave 20p. The Hotel is clearly on my list for future visits on Skye (I am planning a longer trip with a few days in the south of Skye, a few days in the north and another few on the Outer Hebrides, to get to know the area deeper). On that road there were some delays and I spotted cameras an a lot of people in hired vans. So the first thing I did at the reception desk of the Sligachan Hotel was aks what that was all about. They shot a Nissan spot there, it seems. So I’ll have a lookout for car advertisements that are set in a familiar landscape. You know that feeling, right? When you see those spots and you wonder: where on earth did they shoot this?? Well, now you know. On Skye, just a few miles from the Fairy Pools.
Which was where we went then. I was a little surprised to see them on clear hills. I kind of expected them to be hidden in a forest or something. They are amazing to watch, however. When I was at university studying geography, I loved the subject of geomorphology. What I saw at the Fairy Pools I have only ever seen or read about in those books back then. It was amazing to see it all in real life. There is some kind of peak at the top of those falls. We decided that it’s the throne to some deity or a wise-man-of-the-peak-kind-of-place. We didn’t make it up there, however, since it was getting late and dark soon. That’s a task for another time. As are the Cuillin Mountains, the ‚mountains of black and gold‘. (The next day in Portree I bought a cute little painted picture of The Cuillins, which is now standing next to my monitor, reminding me that there’s still a lot to see and do in Scotland in general and more spedifically throughout the Hebrides).
It was dark when we came back to the car. A full day. And on the way back, at the junction of the road to the Fairy Pools and the one between Carbost and Portree, I managed to get an amazing shot of a loch in the dark with its shimmering blue surface. I’ll show you later.