Tag Archives: hiking

A Scotland Adventure – Part 8, Fairy Pools and Sligachan Bridge

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Hello, and welcome back to your annual story time of Ben and Sarah’s international adventures! Keeping with the tradition of the last few years, Sarah and I visited with her family, this year going back to Scotland.

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Tuesday, 31-Dec-2019

 

Our last day in Skye was, frustratingly to all involved, some of the best weather of the whole trip.

Our main plan for the day was to get back to Aberdeen – but we couldn’t let the amazing weather pass by without getting some last minute views of Skye!  We picked two adventure spots on the drive out – The fairy Pools, and the Sligachan bridge!

 

The two were gorgeous!  Both places had amazing views of their respective Cuillins, and the sunlight breaking through the clouds gave the whole vista an amazing ephemerical feel… I’ve said it before in these posts, but Skye just seems like a fairy world – I completely understand why so many myths and legends sprung up in Scotland.  Maybe it’s the variance between the rough seas and beautiful hillsides, or maybe it’s the extreme length of the golden hour due to the high latitude.

Whatever the reason, the pictures below speak louder than any descriptions I could write.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

A Scotland Adventure – Part 7, The Quirang

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Hello, and welcome back to your annual story time of Ben and Sarah’s international adventures! Keeping with the tradition of the last few years, Sarah and I visited with her family, this year going back to Scotland.

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Monday, 30-Dec-2019

 

There were a few main hikes that we wanted to explore on Skye – One of the most famous was a hike along the base of a rock formation called The Quirang.

The Quirang is similar to the Shawangunk ridge in New York – It’s a huge ridgeline of exposed rock, scoured away by huge glaciers in epocs past.  We didn’t learn about any rock climbing at The Quirang, but I’m sure there must be some that the locals keep to themselves.  The hike though, was gorgeous.  Where The Gunks are well hidden by trees and undergrowth, The Quirang was fully exposed along the route that we took, with nothing shielding it from the beauty of the landscape around.

 

The drive into The Quirang was rainy.  Surprising, I know, but it’s true.

We did get to see some peat bogs, along with stacked bricks of peat, but finding the parking lot took a bit of time, and definitely wasn’t assisted by the near-constant drizzling mist that clung around the area.

We pressed onward though, and soon enough the clan found ourselves at the parking lot for the hike.  We explored, took some photos, and then prepared to head back to the van and mosey onward…

But Sarah wanted to hike.  I didn’t blame her, and I absolutely wanted to as well, but since this was a family trip I let her take the lead, trying to convince everyone to join us on the hike along the base of the rock formation.

Sarah didn’t find any buyers for her adventure though, aside from myself, and so off we set on our own – The rest of the crew headed toward the far side of the island to search for sun and adventure, while Sarah and I set off into the mud and muck, planning on hiking along the base of the Quirang and meeting the family in the small town where the trail ended off.

 

About 20 minutes after we left the trailhead, the clouds started to break apart, and the sun started burning through the mist.  We couldn’t make it 500 yards without stopping to take more pictures of more gorgeous views… so please forgive the sheer number of photos uploaded to this gallery – this is a tiny portion of the total that we took, but it’s still a pretty heavy album.

 

We walked, chatted, took photos, walked some more, took more photos… it was lovely.

Not really much else to say, aside from that.  Sit back, grab a snack, and enjoy the huge album!

 

A Scotland Adventure – Part 1, the overview!

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Hello, and welcome back to your annual story time of Ben and Sarah’s international adventures! Keeping with the tradition of the last few years, Sarah and I visited with her family, this year going back to Scotland.

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From Saturday, 21-December, 2019 all the way through to Saturday, 04-Jan, 2020

 

Part 1 – The overview, and photo highlights

The general framework of the trip is detailed below; we didn’t come into the trip with any major plans or goals, we were really looking forward to the time to relax after the busyness of 2019. It’d been a pretty amazing year, full of huge amounts of growth… but with that growth had come a number of challenges that left us fairly drained.

A visit to the Highlands was exactly what the doctor ordered.

 

Quick summary of our trip to Scotland!

  • Leave Portland on Saturday, 21-December-2019
  • Get stuck in San Francisco due to a delayed flight, and stay overnight at the super-posh Grand Hyatt while also getting to walk around the city and visit my cousin
  • Arrive in Scotland on the 23rd… but unfortunately without our checked bags
  • Explore Aberdeen for two days (Tuesday and Wednesday), getting to see the Art Museum, attend the midnight mass at St. Maccars, and even watch dolphins jumping in the surf outside of town
  • Drive to the Isle of Skye, staying overnight at the BenLeva Inn on Loch Ness. We don’t see Nessie… but we do have a full can of Irn Bru (a type of soda) vanish, leaving only the pierced and empty can…
  • We spent three full days on Skye, and had an excellent time exploring and photographing everything we could find. Some major adventure points were:
    • We hiked up to the Storr (in the rain)
    • Explored the town of Portree, and ate some extremely good Cullen Skink
    • hiked the Quiraing route from the parking lot down to the town of Flogetty
    • Walked out to the Fairy Pools
  • Back in Aberdeen, we spent a day touring around the countryside, seeing standing stones and other amazing points of interest.
  • We spent another day back in Aberdeen exploring the city – seeing Greta’s office, visiting shops, and walking through some amazing museums