The Jamisons In Scotland: Isle of Skye, Scotland - Uig, Fairy Glen, The Quiraing, Kilt Rock Falls, & The Old Man of Storr

I think my love affair with this place, comes from the sense of nostalgia it gave me. You guys know I love Aubrey with my whole heart and soul, but before she was even a glimmer in my eye there was just me and Will, and endless weekends in the Black Hills to hike and camp and explore together. I knew I enjoyed those weekends immensely, but I never realized how necessary they were for my overall happiness. Being together, in nature, doing something active, and in Will’s words describing a long day of hiking - “feeling like you’ve accomplished something.” I can’t remember a much better “high” than completing a multi-mile, arduous hike with Will and the dogs, then coming out of the woods and finding a beer to celebrate somewhere. Those times are what make up some of my most happy memories.
And as I watched the backpackers on the trails all over the island, and saw a couple come into our hotel bar at the end of the day with a bit of mud splattered over their rain pants and hiking boots, I couldn’t help but envy them. In my eyes, the island became a playground just waiting for Will and I to rise to the challenge of exposing all of its nooks and crannies. I know for a fact I could spend 2 weeks easily, backpacking and photographing while Will fished the countless streams. It would be a trip made in our heaven. Only, this short 2-day trip wasn’t going to be the time that would happen. One day we will be back! 

What we did do, was take the rental car out for a spin around the island, and visited quite a few sites we had been dying to see. Starting with Uig and Fairy Glen.
As if the sheer amount of green wasn't enough to make it magical, the landscape was filled with these odd little cone shaped hills.
The nooks of which made perfect resting spots for the sheep that called it home.
It was one of those days where the rain sort of spits at you, so staying outside the car for very long wasn't the most comfortable. It worked out to be a positive though because it kept us moving, which helped us reach all of our destinations. 
After leaving the Glen we drove to the Isle of Skye Brewing Co hoping to taste some beers and find some lunch. As it turns out, the brewery is really just a gift shop with a small distribution center in the back. Luckily though, there was a small restaurant just across the way where "Ella" cooks meals fresh daily. I dined on a salad with locally cured ham, brie cheese, and a side of Ella's fresh bread and homemade chutney. It was one of my favorite meals of the trip!
Moving on, our next stop was the Quiraing - a landslip that still moves! In fact, the road at it's base has to be repaired every year! 
Will and I couldn't help ourselves by this point. Thankfully Janet stayed in the car with a napping Aubrey while we took off on one of the trails for a very, very short hike.
The wind was pretty intense. Will's hat nearly blew off right as this picture was being taken.
I had been praying for just a sliver of sun to break through the clouds. Both because I was a bit tired of the rain, but also because I knew the sun would bring the millions of shades of green in front of us to life. And magically just as we were about to leave, it did.
I really can't describe the beauty. Just suffice it to say it was enough to bring tears to your eyes.
Our third stop was Kilt Rock Falls. Named for its resemblance to a kilt, it is a cliff with a beautiful waterfall pouring straight into the sea.
Our day was quickly dwindling, we had given Will's dad a pickup time (he was fishing), and we had dinner reservations, so we did not make the trek up to the Old Man of Storr, but we did get to see him from the road.
That night we enjoyed our last night on the isle with a scrumptious seafood dinner at one of the best restaurants in town.

The Jamisons In Scotland: Isle of Skye, Scotland - Portree

This part of our trip was the beginning of a great love affair.

There are places in the world that seem to touch your soul.
The Isle of Skye was such a place for me.
And even though it was overcast and rainy, and quite cool the day we arrived...
and stayed that way almost our entire time on the island...
it ended up being my most favorite place of all.
There are a number of places to stay on the Isle, but we chose Portree for its picturesque harbor, and the thought that it would probably have a little more going on in the way of restaurants and such.
The harbor did not disappoint, 

but the size of the town did surprise us a little. I think we expected to find a small town, but instead were met with a main street bordered by a few side streets that made up the entire town.

It was fine though. We didn't come to the Isle to worry about great shopping. Our top priority was taking in the awe-inspring scenery (and man was it awe-inspiring!).

We were a little late on getting accommodations booked for this whole trip, so we only managed to find an Airbnb rental for Aberdeenshire. As a matter of fact, by the time we booked in Portree nearly all of the hotels were booked full, so we all ended up in separate hotels. Will and I stayed in the Tongadale Hotel - an older, yet lively little joint that served us perfectly. Every afternoon the small bar downstairs would fill with regulars and the occasional backpacker. It also just so happened to be on the main street of town.

As you can guess there are a number of seafood restaurants. There were also a few art galleries and stores, gift shops, and some stores catered to a specific craft made from locally sourced goods like wool. 
Katrina and April were having to leave the next morning, their trip cut a little short due to work obligations, so we had an early dinner together and said our goodbyes since their hotel was a little farther out in a town called Uig.
After the long drive we were all happy to call it an early night. The next day held the joys of driving a loop around the island and we couldn't wait.


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