Isle of Skye, and other scenes

So Scotland is pretty darn picturesque.

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My short time in Scotland so far has been blessed with mild weather and nice views. We’re almost to November and I can still go some days leaving the house wearing only a thin sweatshirt to keep me warm. I’ve been told by locals that this is one of the mildest Autumns in Edinburgh yet. It is only now that the chill has been steadily picking up and I’ll soon have to whip out my thick wool socks. I’m OK with this because Edinburgh is one of the cosiest places in the world. The streets are always warmly lit, the buildings made orange either by the daylight or street lamps. Even when it’s cold outside, there’s always toast and tea to come home to.

The times I’ve been away from Edinburgh have been brief and few, but special. A few weekends ago, I visited the Isle of Skye on a guided tour with the  International Student Centre (ISC). It was a short trip and a lot of travel: one night spent in a hostel, two days spent mostly on a bus. The bus travel itself was nice, looking out the window for hours to see the Highlands stretching out – blue skies and green hills occasionally speckled by clouds and sheep. Every so often, we would stop to stretch our legs, take pictures, get our lungs filled with fresh air.

One of these stops was at the Sligichan River – our first entry into the Isle of Skye. The tour guide let us know of a local legend: it is said that if you dip your face into the water and hold it for seven seconds, you will be blessed with a forever beautiful and youthful complexion. So of course I did it. I’ll let you know how it works out.

After visiting the river, we arrived at our accommodation for the night – a quaint, bright yellow hostel in Portree, Isle of Skye. The innkeeper running it was tireless and cheerful and gave us helpful hints about getting around town, and let us know which pubs to avoid. It was a lovely stay. I swear I had one of the best sleeps of my life at this hostel (9 blissful hours). Something about Portree just puts my spirit at ease.

By the next morning, I was well-rested for a day on the Isle of Skye. We woke up at 7AM, quickly got ready, filled up on cereal, and made our way back onto the bus. In the morning, we went on a short hike that overlooked a large and majestic loch. We spent the rest of the morning seeing the sights around the Isle, countless waterfalls and mountain goats. We were back in Portree for lunch (I had amazing fish and chips at a chippy in Portree. It been weeks since I had them and I still crave them.). After that, it was back home to Edinburgh.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. One night and a morning was not enough to see all the Isle of Skye has to offer, but it did show me how crazily beautiful it is. The Highlands are literally unreal. I can’t wait to go back.