Friday, March 31, 2017

March 11th, Part One: A Change of (Dramatic) Scenery

Despite the previous night's whisky sampling, we were both mostly functional when we got up the next morning. We had breakfast at the hotel, then went upstairs, packed up our things, and checked out.

I took a few minutes to enjoy the room's view of the courtyard before we left; you could just make out some snow-covered hills in the distance. There was a comfy chair right by the window; if we had stayed longer, I definitely would have spent some time sitting there.

We put our bags in the car, then went for a short walk. I had read in a book in the hotel room that Dornoch had a really nice beach...

...and they weren't kidding! It was only about a ten minute walk from the middle of town, and there were already people starting to show up with their dogs.

We wandered around a bit, patted the various dogs that ran up to sniff us, and watched a Piper do takeoffs and landings at the little Dornoch airport a bit further down the beach.

It was a gorgeous morning and I could have hung out there a lot longer, but we had some other fun things we wanted to see. We said goodbye to the beach, walked back to the car, and started driving west. Dornoch had been great; I'd love to get back there someday!

We had a bit of a drive ahead of us to get to our next stop, but we broke it up with random overlooks and short walks along the way. I especially liked this one; I forget where it was, but... could take a small set of stairs over a guardrail, pass through a gate, and walk along a small wooden boardwalk over a marshy area. It looked like the path went pretty far back; if we had more time I would have followed it for a while to see where I wound up. Oh well. Maybe next time!

The scenery was pretty dramatic as we continued along, and the clouds occasionally hid the snowy hills.

It's not the best picture, but this was just a little bit of what the roads were like in spots: narrow and squished in by cliffs. Fun!

We drove along Loch Carran for a while, and eventually found an overlook. We stopped for a few minutes, then continued on to...

...Kyle of Lochalsh. We stopped for a quick snack here, then crossed the bridge...

...and said hello to the Isle of Skye.  :)

We were spending the night in Portree and had a bit further to go to get there. The scenery was even more incredible as we drove further along the island. 

The clouds were especially dramatic; we could see them forming as they drifted over the hills.

You know how you see those landscape paintings in art museums and they're so dark with random bright patches of light coming through? I always thought to myself, 'there's no way those are the actual colors they painted; the painting must be discolored since it's older and they actually used brighter, happier colors'. And then I saw this waterfall and instantly understood where all of those paintings came from. Here. This picture is straight off the camera. It was bananas.

To be continued...

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