Friday, November 7, 2014

Glen Shiel and Magical Mountains

On the way to the Isle of Skye, if you go by land, you pass through spectacular mountain scenery to reach the Kyle of Lochalsh, which means the strait of the foaming loch. After passing through the strait, you reach a small projection of land where a bridge connects the mainland to the island. On the way to Skye, I was so focused on getting there that I couldn't appreciate the amazing beauty of the landscape around me.  Although I took a couple of pictures when we stopped for a bathroom break.

But on the way back, I simply had to stop and "be a tourist" as my daughter refers to it. It was a cloudy overcast day, but in some ways the soft light seemed to bring out the colors and make the mountain landscape seem even more magical.     
I didn't mention it, but on this route to Skye, the road passes right by the famous castle, Eilean Donan. Since I had already stopped for photo ops twice, my daughter didn't want me to pull over and I figured most people had already seen pictures of this beautiful attraction. But now I regret not taking my own. I did stop to take pictures later of a tiny "castle" that is my new dream home.
 An aside:  Perhaps it's because she grew up in the Rocky Mountain area and finds mountain vistas rather ho-hum, but the only time my daughter got excited about the scenery on our trip was when we were on the coast. She has a strong affinity for the sea, which I jokingly attribute to her "Viking blood". The hero in my first Viking book, Storm Maiden, is based on her father. The book opens with a poem I wrote that begins: "You say you're Irish/But I look into your eyes, blue as the North Sea/And know you're an immigrant like all the rest." Although my husband's reddish hair (strawberry blond when I met him and then turning to auburn) and fair skin are typically Irish, his fine, narrow face and features and pale blue eyes seem very Norse to me.
My daughter also loves cities, and part of the reason for our quick trip (and lack of pictures as we drove through the beautiful Glen Coe area) was that we were on our way to Glasgow, where she hoped to enjoy the pleasures of the city.
To be continued...


  1. Great photos, Mary! I loved the history and your commentary too!

  2. Hello Mary.
    Great photos. I always thought there's something amazing about the light in the Highlands, so it doesn't really matter if one visit on an overcast day! Lovely pictures/ story. :D
    Kelly Ann Scott