Serendipity in Storr on Skye

Monday 18 June 2012
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Travelling down the Trotternish peninsula, we glimpsed an astounding  landscape through the misty drizzle. Could this really be Scotland? It looked more like Iceland. Towering black pinnacles rose from mountains so green that they must surely have included E140 as an artificial colourant.  We had arrived on the ferry from Lochmaddy on North Uist on our return leg from a fortnight exploring the islands of the Outer Hebrides. We had planned to stay three days on the Isle of Skye, part of Scotland's Inner Hebrides. We'd already noticed that Skye was much more popular with visitors. On the Outer Hebrides we drove drive for miles and only occasionally see other visitors, and most of these came over on the same ferry as us. Old Man of Storr The landscape took my breath away, but not quite in the same way as the film 'Prometheus' by director Ridley Scott, who used the Old Man of Storr as one of the locations for his recently released film.Skye coastline We made our way down the Trotternish peninsula to Portree. The geology was really starting to get my attention. Portree at night We lodged at Portree and dined at a restaurant overlooking the harbour. Portree (Port Righ = King's Harbour) got its name following a visit by King James V of Scotland in 1540. It is now the capital of Skye and offers plenty of accommodation and dining opportunities.Old Man of Storr Next day, I couldn't wait to get out and explore the landscape and geology of the Trotternish peninsula. Here is the Old Man of Storr again. Kilt Rock Further up the coast is Kilt Rock. Formed by volcanic activity in an area of Jurassic rock formations. The columns of igneous rock are similar to those on the Giant's Causeway and Fingal's Cave. Some had fallen and could be seen lying on the seabed. The Quiraing There is a longer route along the Trotternish peninsula taking in the Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing but sadly our visit to Skye was cut short be urgent business at home so we had to make do with a short hike in the Quiraing.Quiraing Once, again I was bowled over by the scenery and geology, if not by the wind coming in from the Atlantic. Apparently, the local crofters used the rock formations of the Quiraing to hide their cattle from the raiding Vikings. Quiraing Sadly we had to cut short the visit and return home. Following our brief taster of Skye, that we are longing to make a return visit in the future. All photos by the author: John Williams, @Eurapart on Twitter,  webmaster of Eurapart.

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