If you want to read the post on Day 5, click here.

I’ve always wanted to see the Scottish Highlands ever since I heard it compared with our own Batanes. So, I made sure that our UK trip included a couple of days in Scotland, and a visit to the Scottish Highlands. I found a 3-day tour to the Isle of Skye and booked us a slot, choosing to stay in a Bed and Breakfast accommodation instead of a hotel.

We checked out of our Edinburgh hotel early and took the cab to the Parliament Square, the pick up point for the tour.

Early morning at Edinburgh

Red phone booths along the Royal Mile

The Mercat Cross at the Parliament Square

A sign along the busy night spot

We were met by our guide and driver, Duncan, who ushered us into the mini-coach that would take us on a road trip along the Scottish Highlands. Ariel and I were among the first to board the mini-coach and chose to sit in the last row. It has the most spacious leg room and a space for our hand-carried bags behind our seat. The coach was small enough so the back seat was comfortable, unlike in big buses where the back seat is too bumpy. Our first stop was Loch Lomond. It is the largest lake in Great Britain (source: Wikipedia) and is featured as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world (source: Yahoo Travel).

The lake has a sandy beach

There are ducks swimming at the lake and they are friendly

It was so cold!

Brrr…
Establishments by the lake have a beautiful mountain backdrop

Nessie, our mini-coach

The beautiful Highlands

After Loch Lomond, we made a quick stop in a valley surrounded by mountains still partly covered in snow.

I could only step out of the mini-coach for a short
time due to the cold. 

Mountains still partially covered in snow

Quick photo op before getting back inside our
warm mini-coach

Shot through the window of our coach – made me dream of having our own
lake-side cottage

Our next stop was picturesque Fort William, the largest town in the Scottish Highlands.  We were given enough time to grab a quick lunch. Ariel and I opted to eat in a sit down Indian Restaurant so we can have rice. :)

Lunch at Fort William

Still cold

We stopped by a store to grab a bag of chips

Fort William

After lunch, we took a quick detour at the Spean Bridge Mill for a bit of souvenir shopping. Our guide also highlighted the fact that the store sells good whisky. Tempting, but I opted to get a cashmere scarf at half the price instead.

Behind the souvenir shop

My travel buddy striking a pose

Into the store

Love this yellow daffodil…

…and the yellow tulips!

We made another quick stop at the Commando Memorial, one of Scotland’s best-known monuments.

The marker

The view

The monument

It’s a busy tourist spot in the Highlands

Then we visited the Eilean Donan Castle. The castle is built on a tiny island accessed through a foot bridge. It’s a small privately owned castle originally built in the early 13th century. Photography is not allowed inside so I only have photos of the exterior.

The beautiful castle

Another shot

The foot bridge

The funny castle guide

Ariel did something naughty

Touring the perimeter

Near the foot bridge

The lake surrounding the castle

I love bridges!

Souvenir shot

Oh Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?

The castle exit point

Another shot at the door

Went down to explore the lake

Ariel’s shot of the castle

View from the castle grounds

Another photo before we leave the castle
Vicinity map

After the castle, we proceeded to the Isle of Skye where we were to spend the night in a Bed and Breakfast. Skye is the largest and most northerly island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland (source: Wikipedia).

Isle of Skye from afar

The tour company assigned us our B&B so we only got to know where we were staying on the day of the tour itself. Our driver/guide told us we were booked at Saucy Mary’s. We were among the first to be dropped off. I was a bit nervous because the B&B wasn’t much to look at from the outside. While checking in, there were many other tourists and they were mostly backpackers looking for cheap rooms. Fortunately, we were told by the front desk guy that we were actually booked in the more “luxurious” Glenarroch Bed and Breakfast next door,  owned and operated by the same family as Saucy Mary’s. We were ushered to the main house, up the second floor. Our room was tiny but comfortable. There was a double bed, two small side tables, a small TV, a tiny open closet, coffee and tea making facilities, a small bathroom with shower. The room was unremarkable, but I love the hand-embroidered bed linen.

The bathroom

The shower

The house to the right of the pink tree was where we stayed for the night.
To the left is Saucy Mary’s Lodge and Bar where we had dinner.

Before dinner and after settling in, we went out to take photos.

We went around the neighborhood and found this.

Benches line the shore – perfect for relaxing while viewing the sunset

Couple pic – the only time I used the tripod. :)
That’s the Skye Bridge behind us.

Our B&B is near the waterfront and has a beautiful view of Loch Alsh.

A creek near our B&B

An old church

I am so in love with the tree filled with pink blooms!

Happiness!

The B&B also has a convenience store – not open 24 hours though.

The village at dusk

The Skye bridge connecting the Isle of Skye to the mainland

We had dinner at the Saucy Mary’s Bar. I had fish and chips while Ariel tried their sausage. The food was pretty good. After dinner, we just retired to our room and rested to prepare for the continuation of our road trip the following day. Watch out for it!

Click here for Day 7.

Written by Alby Laran

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