image by Tom D Jones
story by Better Moments webmaster, Ulrik Kristiansen
I’ve come back to few places in the world more than once. There were many reasons, some of them obviously had to do with petty things like money and time.
But mostly I felt that I had seen what was worth seeing on my travels in Europe and the Americas. Scotland, and more particularly, the Isle of Skye has always been the exception.
I’ve been to Skye 4 times now and it is hard to explain what is so compelling about it, if you are not already into mysterious mountains, misty highlands and the vistas of the Atlantic Ocean.
The name of Skye itself is not easy to pin down, like the mists that enshroud the island. In the Norse sagas Skye is called Skuy (misty isle), Skýey or Skuyö (isle of cloud) and for centuries the island was ruled by Vikings. The traditional Scots Gaelic name is An t-Eilean Sgitheanach but its meaning is unclear. Some say it means ‘the winged isle’, because of its many rocky peninsulas stretching into the Atlantic.
So the mist is an ever-present follower on Skye, and like the island’s name nothing is quite settled about it. You will get wonderful surprises all the time in what you see.
One moment you are wandering on the ridge of volcanic Trotternish peninsula with its Marsian pillars of rocks, the Quiraing, and everything is clear bright daylight with views all the way to the Outer Hebrides. Then suddenly the mist comes rolling in like a white wave and then lifts again to reveal the landscape anew.
image by Tom D Jones
I had a particularly memorable trip to the tiny mountain lake – Loch Coruisk – surrounded by the spires of the Cuillin mountain range – perhaps the only range in the United Kingdom to approach in sheer jagged rawness (though not of course in height) the mountain experience of such ranges as the Alps or Rockies.
We had just gotten back on the boat after a few hours of enjoying the stillness and magnificent views and were about to sail back to the tiny pier at the village of Elgol.
Then the mist arrived and in mere minutes covered all of the mountains behind us, but not the sea which was still bright and clear. It was like two worlds meeting briefly, and then teasing us that it had not shown all its secrets.
The weather can be a harsh mistress on Skye, there are no two ways about it. But the mix of bright late-summer sunshine and rolling mists can create unique scenes that you will see in few other places of the world.
And that fact alone, makes it a fact that there will be a 5th time for me.