Scotland - Part 4 - Inverness to Skye
Scotland – Inverness to Skye
The route we took out to the island of Skye, which was a focal point of our trip because of Norma’s heritage, required a slight backtrack from Inverness to Invermoriston, but then a gorgeous drive along route A887 over the top of a highland plateau to get to rejoin route A87 and go out to the town of Portree on Skye. We went back along Loch Ness, and this time stopped at the Loch Ness exhibit hall where they explained in great detail the geography and history of the Loch Ness area and what Nessie might or might not be – a most interesting stop along the way. Driving over the highland area, we went by the site of a very sad event – the Battle of Glen Sheil. This battle was was the last close engagement of British and foreign troops in Great Britain, as the Jacobites had allied with the Spanish, and had what they thought was great ground to cover any British attacks as they were lined along the top of the mountains guarding the pass below. Unfortunately for the Scottish loyalists and the Spanish, the British had anticipated where the deployment might be, and in a very hard-won effort managed to trudge along the sides of the slopes, instead of walking down the open pass. In doing this, the British forces surprised the waiting Highlanders, and won a surprising victory, capped off by re-taking the Eilean Donan Castle and capturing Spanish soldiers who were sent back as prisoners.
Coming off the Highland Plateau, we dropped down and rejoined route A87 and found a very pretty old abandoned church site in Aultachruine. The weather was typical of our Scotland trip – it would be sunny one minute and pouring rain the next, and I did get caught in a downpour getting the images of the church and the river valley. It made for dramatic light, but I would say that having a weather resistant Nikon d800e and weather resistant professional lenses was the only way to go, as lesser gear would have had a problem – what with electronics and Scottish mist not getting along too well. I would also note that this is where gear like my Think Tank pack and its waterproof cover came in very handy and probably saved me from a rather expensive potential repair.
The last stop before we actually got on Skye was the pretty castle of Eilean Donan. One of the most photographed sights in Scotland, the castle stands on a point where two rivers join a Loch, and its commanding position makes for a great photo-op, and a historical sight for me as well, as Clan Curry would have rallied here to help the MacPhersons. The castle has been used in Bond films, and is a great historical site dating back to the 1200’s. Well worth the stop, and a great place to get that iconic castle image of Scotland. We drove on to the Isle of Skye – much more on that to come!
Loch Ness Exhibit Centre
Glen Shiel Battle Site
Church at Aultachruine
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Causeway and the Castle