Memories of Skye, Scotland

by Nelly De Clercq, Bo Dahlqvist, André Ceulemans, Nick Fern and others

Photo by Johan

Scotland, a world on its own

by Nelly

First encounter :

While walking in a small village we had a chat with a local lady .
Inevitably, she asked where we were staying, so we told her.
“Aghr, those outlanders !”
The couple running the hotel just happened to be … Londoners!

Second encounter :

We were driving around and looking for the right direction at a T-junction.  We didn’t have a GPS-navigator at that time.
“Sorry sir, we are looking for the bridge to the mainland, can you help us please?“
“THIS is the mainland, the island is over there!“
Really …

And back to the mainland : 
In the hotel we used to sample a malt whisky after dinner. We often asked Donald, the headwaiter, a real Scottish character, which one to choose (although some tasted like petrol, my feeling … ).
But one night the manager, an Irishman, suggested trying a very special 33 years old Irish whiskey.
Donald gave him a dirty look and said : 
“ Now, who would keep THAT for 33 years ! “

Only good memories of a beautiful country ! And special people !
I would recommend anyone to visit and explore .

Travel Tips

5 responses to “Memories of Skye, Scotland”

  1. Johan Vanbrabant says:

    Skye, one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, a paradise for walkers and photographers. They also have a peated whisky there, Talisker, a premium Single Malt for the aficionados from another world.

  2. Margaret says:

    I once spent a week on Skye auditing one of the best hotels – very good canteen in that workplace!

  3. Bo Dahlqvist says:

    When you talk about drinking whisky with the headwaiter I come to think of a surprising situation. We went for a tour in Scotland in late October. We had driven over the Highlands, stopping in Blair Athold to visit the destillery which makes a very good whisky and then continuing down towards the Loch Ericht where we had booked a room for one night. It was quite a big building but no other cars in the parking. We entered and got our room and the we went down for the dinner. We were the only ones in the dining-room. After the dinner the owner came over and offered us a glass of whisky and once we were sitting in the bar he told us that we were his very last guests because he was closing down the hotel the following day. I do not remember exactly the link but he told us that much of the land in Scotland is still owned by a few families and that was a part of his problem. We thanked him for the whisky and wished him good luck.

  4. andre ceulemans says:

    I have been on Skye a number of occasions to discover its gorgious scenery and its outstanding beauty. My preferred itinary is the one that leads you from Broadford to Elgol. It gives you spectacular views on the Red and Black Cuillins and on the numerous surrounding lochs and sea lochs. From Elgol small fishing boats can bring you to loch Scavaig and the isles of Rum and Canna. On the way you cannot but admire the large seabird colonies nesting on the cliffs while you will encounter dolphins, seals and, if lucky, minky and killer whales . Hiking from Sligachan bridge to the Black Cuillins gives an enchanting experience you will never forget. But beware, you must be in good shape and I wonder whether I could give it another try now.
    By the way if you plan to visit Skye do not come by the Skye bridge but take the small ferry from Glenelg over the Sound of Sleat to Kylerhea. You will be rewarded by the overwhelming scenery.
    And for the whisky connoisseurs just this. Skye now prouds itself for having 3 distilleries being Talisker, Raasay ( situated on the isle of Raasay) and Torabhaig ( situated in the village of Teangue on the Sleat peninsula). Slainte.

  5. Nicholas Fern says:

    During the Easter University break of 1963, a group of 1st year Mining and Metallurgy students , of which I was one enjoyed our geology field trip on the Isle of Skye. Nobody had much money, so we took the last and cheapest shuttle flight from London to Glasgow and slept in a waiting room on the station before taking the train up through Fort William to the coast. This journey alone made the trip worthwhile. Then a ferry to the Island and a cramped minibus ride to the pub in which we stayed.

    Every day we headed off somewhere of geological significance, for Skye has possibly the most interesting geology to be found anywhere in the British isles, from Pre-Cambrian to quaternary, a span of perhaps a Billion years; and volcanic to sedimentary. Our guide, teacher, van driver and geologist was one of the departmental staff, not much older than us, who led us off up and down the mountains and along the beaches when we wanted something new.

    The weather was variable, that is: sun, rain, sleet, perhaps snow followed by sun again as the storm systems drove in from the Atlantic. At times the only thing to do was put up hoods, squat down, back to the wind and wait for the system to blow through. But worth it, of course, with fabulous views out over the hills, sea and islands.

    In the evenings we would change into dry, i.e less damp, clothes, eat large amounts of good basic Scottish food and, though ostensibly writing up our notes from the day, consume, as all students did in those days, copious quantities of beer. Sleep came easily as we were walking 6 to 10 miles a day, very little on level ground.

    I’ve never been back and if I did, it wouldn’t be the same place. For, as L.P. Harley wrote “The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there”

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