It's hard to believe that we've been in Scotland for a month now, but it's fascinating to me how quick a new place feels like home. Reese has a busy school schedule while I've written more in this last month than I probably have this whole year. And it feels great.
And I think what makes it super official is that we've driven on the left side of the road! To give credit where it's due, Reese drove because our car was manual and I haven't learned how to drive stick yet, but it was an experience for both of us. I think we can safely say we've experienced most of the different types of driving Scotland has to offer all in a 36 hour period. We packed up the dogs and headed north to the Isle of Skye. We drove through the city and then onto highway driving. And for the first hour or so, it seemed fairly manageable, like a good way to get used to driving on the other side of the road. Then it went down to a normal two lane road with standard lane widths, painted lines, shoulders. Then they narrow and you lose your shoulders. Then for the better part of the trip it was a narrow two-way road with no lines - just signs suggesting when you might want to slow down (FYI - no one really slows down). Then, should you decide you want to see anything of significance, you're down to a one lane, two-way road that winds through the highlands around blind corners and up blind summits (that usually have a drive way at the top) with the occasional passing shoulder. Mind you, you follow the national speed limit on all of these roads, which is 60 miles per hour. So the first day was stressful but successful. Adapt or die, right?
Overall, it was a pretty quick weekend trip. The first day we made a quick stop at Talisker Distillery, the only distillery on the Isle of Skye, and then went to the Fairy Pools. It was towards the end of the daylight hours so there weren't many tourists, but some to share the path with. We were surrounded by the deep amber hills that ascended into the clouds. And even with other people around us, most of what you heard was the water falling over the rocks and making its way down stream.
We stopped in a little town called Uig for the night. It was a little hotel and lodge just near the cliffs on the north western point of the Isle of Skye. When we left the next morning, the hotel staff advised us to drive through the highlands rather than around the peninsula. We had debated our route given the previous day of driving but decided to take their advice. Though the roads are tricky, they come with quite the reward. Rich, emerald green hills dotted with wild roaming sheep and beautiful rock formations that you wouldn't see driving around the coast.
Our last stop before heading home was Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls. Cliffs formed the edge of a seaside farming village adorned with Mealt falls. We were lucky that we got to see as much of the cliffs as we did because as we started driving towards our next location (Old Man Storr) some serious fog rolled in where we couldn't see much at all. So we're saving Storr for another, less foggy day.
All in all, it was a great trip. We're lucky that the dogs travel so well and don't seem to mind one another. Hopefully we'll have more trips like this in the future. For now, back to class and writing projects.