Today the weather forecast was for overcast conditions in the morning and rain in the afternoon, and for once it turned out to be accurate. I decided to do a short walk in the morning around the Fairy Pools, a series of coloured rock pools formed by a river running off the Cullin Hills. These hills are famous for their tough walking and mountaineering challenges, but my walk was described as a gentle introduction to the area. The overcast weather gave Skye a totally different feel – brooding, savage and intimidating.
The Fairy Pools is one of the most popular walks on Skye, but I found it slightly disappointing after the wonders of the Quiraing the day before. Still, I took some interesting photos and managed to complete a short circuit in a couple of hours without getting too wet.
From the Cullin Hills I headed up to the far north west of Skye to visit Dunvegan castle, ancestral home of the head of the McCleod clan. Unlike the walk, the castle exceeded my expectations. It was surrounded by pretty gardens, and the interior was tastefully decorated, intimate, and felt like somewhere that would actually be pleasant to live in – unlike most other castles I have visited on my travels.
After the castle, I made an impromptu decision to explore a market scenic drive leading to the north west tip of Skye. I finally ended up at a place called Neist Point, where great cliffs crash into the Atlantic Ocean. The rain was now coming down hard, driven by strong winds coming directly from the sea, so I decided against trying the well-known walk to the lighthouse and contented myself with a couple of quickly taken photos from outside the car.
I got back to my hotel in the early evening. It hadn’t been the most exciting day in Scotland, but had still had its moments. You shouldn’t come to Scotland if you cannot put up with an occasional rainy day. “There is no light without darkness”* – rainy weather helps you appreciate the sunshine better.
*borrowed from the Master and Margarita by Bulgakov