In the beginning of May, when my boyfriend R came to visit me in Scotland, we were determined to see the supposedly magical Isle of Skye. As we’d heard that moving around the island would be tricky without a car, we decided to rent one and set out on a roadtrip through the Highlands towards the western shores of the country.
The role of the driver fell upon my shoulders. I was pretty nervous of the trip, since I’d never driven on the left side of the road before. Fortunately, I’d already had a couple of months to get used to navigating the reversed traffic! It was surprisingly easy to set my mind to driving on the left, but what was harder was estimating the distances on the left side of the car (as the driver sits on the right in Britain). Despite some little mishaps along the way (like bumping into a parked car…), we had a wonderful time driving through the amazing landscapes of Scotland. I’d already seen some of the places we drove through – like the Loch Lomond area, Orchy and Glencoe – but it was great to show R some of the Scotland I’d fallen in love with.
The landscapes of Orchy
Light leaking from between the Three Sisters
We were planning on driving north from Fort William to Dornie, so that we could check out Scotland’s most photographed castle, Eilean Donan, on the way. Taking the northern route and driving over the Kyle bridge is also the quickest way to Skye, and since we’d already lost some time dealing with our little bump, we were anxious to get on. We were forced to change our plans, though, because after Fort William we realized we were driving west, not north – our navigator had chosen the ferry route for us and was taking us up to Mallaig! As we were already halfway there, we decided to just go with it, and take the old route: over the sea to Skye.
As it turns out, we were really glad of our choice. Despite having to hurry a bit to reach the day’s last ferry, we really enjoyed the scenic drive. Somewhere along the way we stopped for a break at the shore of the most beautiful little loch (which will remain unnamed, since we didn’t have cell service at that moment to check out our exact location).
When we got to Mallaig and managed to get tickets for the ferry, we took a quick stroll around the harbour and bought loads of snacks to last us for the rest of the day. Mallaig had a wonderful feel to it; we saw people at work everywhere, mending roofs and otherwise taking care of their little town. It seemed like a place where I could’ve stayed for a couple of days, just resting and taking in the sea air.
The Mallaig harbour and the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry
Once we got on to our ferry, we were happy we’d come this way. As we cruised the eastern waves of the Atlantic, we were just dumbfounded by the incredibly beautiful view; the mountains of the Scottish mainland were covered in a pinkish haze, and the water was a wonderful shade of deep blue.
After reaching the shores of Skye, we set out to find our Airbnb host house. It was already dusk when we reached the little village of Annishader and met with our hosts, Madeleine and Godfrey. I can highly recommend their countryhouse B&B if you’re ever visiting Skye!
Sunset in Annishader
The next day was all about exploring the magical Skye – more about that later 😉