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Scotland, Part 3 - Golders Green [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Golders Green

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Scotland, Part 3 [Nov. 12th, 2005|07:44 am]
Golders Green
Our next day kicked off with a walk into the hills of Uig, including the ascent of a lofty pillar of rock from which we had great views. Our guide and I tramped a bit further on, then squatted on the crest of a hill and talked while watching the shenanigans of our fellow travellers in the distance. One of the same girls as before slipped down another muddy hill and had to change her trousers. On the road we took in the views of Uig Bay from where the ferry leaves to take you to the Outer Hebrides. This part of the Trotternish region is also well-known for its fishing and the Skye Brewery, home of the Black Cuillin ale.

Heading north, and enjoying our guide's unique driving style (speeding around hairy corners while looking down at his iPod), we arrived at what's left of Duntulm Castle. This strategic location was once home to Vikings and their fortifications before they were chased off by the Celts. Once fought over by the clans, it now seems bleak and uninviting. It's the windiest place I've ever been, with some in the group having trouble walking or even standing up. The castle itself is just ruins, although there is a window, or hole in the wall, where you can look out to sea (I saw a photograph of this window on a number of postcards) -- and also a small dungeon where one of the MacDonalds was imprisoned for a year and a half. This poor man was fed salted beef and tormented with water jugs filled with sand. He went stark raving mad. I went into the dungeon through a small opening in the rocks. It's a very cold, damp, and dark stone room with a little gap in the rock where you can see daylight. MacDonald's fingernail scratches can still be seen around this gap. Another unfortunate incident at the castle involved a nursemaid accidentally dropping the baby of the house out the window to its death on the rocks far below.

Driving around the northernmost point of Skye then onto the eastern side, we stopped to see Kilt Rock, so named because the cliff face resembles a pleated kilt, and its waterfall. The sun was shining, and the view out over the cliff and across the sea was breathtaking.

We had a longer stop, and a hike around, at the famous Old Man of Storr, a huge pinnacle of rock amongst many jagged and rocky hills. From a distance it reminded me of the menhir Obelix carries around on his back.

Having worked up a healthy appetite we drove into the lovely little town of Portree. V. and I went to the pub where I had a Guinness and a hot roast beef lunch. It was sunny so we went for a stroll around the town, and I mailed a postcard to my Dad.

(More later...)
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