The pleasing melody of the old Corries’ song surely takes you ‘Over the sea to Skye’ though not to be the king but to set afloat your imagination to fly in the sky of Skye. The ‘Isle of Skye’ has a whiff of romanticism in its name and this romanticism took me to this island. The isle of the Cuillins and moors, topped by the vast dramatic sky creates a landscape – sublime and surreal.
Etymology may explain the name of Skye in various different ways while the word has the literal meaning of adventurous but it definitely resonates to that of the ‘Sky’. This is where the name becomes even more appealing.
I did visit the Isle of Skye in a touristy way which is not very usual or personally liked by yet this fast and touristy trip did blow away my mind. Let me start with a tiny introduction to the isle before sharing my experience.
Skye, as it is popularly known, is the largest and the northernmost island of the Hebrides archipelago in Scottland with Portree as its capital. It has a long crooked coastline with numerous peninsulas creating interesting landscapes.
The Cuillin Hills in the centre wings outwards to the sea. The central Cuillin range of rocky mountain is often known as the Black Cuillin while the Red Cuillin lies on the east. The Black Cuillin is formed of gabbro, magmatic rock and basalt giving it a darker shade.
The Red Cuillin is formed of granite and is of lesser height than that of the Black Cuillin. The weather and the wind conditions have eroded the hills into rounded tops with gradual slopes covered with vegetation.
Skye had a majority of Gaelic speaking residents until recent past. The construction of the Skye bridge opened the year-round connectivity to the mainlands which were previously dependant on the ferry. This, in turn, facilitated movement and thus invited outside people to set up their base here.
Skye has very less population density with the largest settlement in Portree. This small town has the majority of Hotels and Restaurants in the isle. The picturesque Portree harbour is one major attraction here and being a harbour area the place is famous for its fish and so for its fish-n-chips for the fish lovers.
The vast open moors and the rugged ridges protruding out creating remarkable landscapes – some as variously famed tourist destinations while the others remaining unnamed yet captivating locations.
Our guide cum driver played the soulful music of The Corries – “The Skye boat song” as we moved through the Scottish highlands towards the Skye. The scenic landscapes and the heartfelt music soothed our senses and we were in a trance under the big blue dramatic sky in the Isle of Skye.
The sky in Skye was in its playful mood and inturn blessed the vistas with its various shades of beauty. Driving through the beautiful roads miles after miles, it was the rugged charm of the vistas and our temperamental companion sky that stole our hear and left us bewitched. I am short of words to describe the beauty of the landscape and thus rest on my pictures to do the talking.