there are a few geographical regions on this earth that are just my places — spots on earth that really speak to my soul and absolutely thrill me to my bones. one of these is *the north atlantic*. the landscape, the colours, the dramatic scenery with water and mountains, the remote feeling, the crisp taste of the air! i have been intoxicated by earth’s magnificence in places like norway, the faroe islands, the english coast … and scotland! and the magic of the north atlantic is very concentrated in a specific part of scotland – the isle of skye.
we spent three full days on skye. and i took thousands of pictures, haha. prepare your eyes for a lot of green and a lot of beauty.
our first morning we checked out a few waterfalls along the main road.
and then we drove up toward trotternish ridge, and were blown away by the otherwordly scenery.
we decided to try out the quiraing hike with all the kids. the beginning of the trail provided incredible views.
but after a short walk, one side of the trail dropped off down a cliff and it was quite slippery underfoot with lots of small pebbles. it was pretty stressful with babies strapped to us and our wiggly adventurous boys wanting to run and explore, so we decided to jump ship on doing the hike as a whole family. so we headed toward point neist lighthouse.
it was cold and windy overlooking the lighthouse and the dramatic peninsula it is on, but we had a great time braving the elements and taking in all the beauty together.
then back to the road, and the sheep :), to get back to our airbnb.
the next day we met up with the barnes family – our great friends from london who were also on a trip in scotland. we had such a great time with them and those adventures are coming in the next post 🙂
we started our last full day on skye on the isle’s most well-known and well-traveled hike: the old man of storr hike, named for the crazy cool tall rock formation you can see sticking out of the mountain:
the weather was great when we started hiking, and it turned pretty quick – which made the whole thing quite the adventure. we thought we got incredulous looks from passersby in london when they saw us out and about with four very small children … we definitely got more incredulous looks hiking in scotland with four very small children. it was indeed a little crazy!
as we got closer to the top viewpoint of the hike, it started raining, and then the wind starting whipping the rain at us … and there was zero place for shelter. we said a little prayer as a family because we were a little worried and not sure what to do! we carried on and after a while found shelter behind a big rock, and the kids did so great.
ian and i took turns going to the top viewpoint.
and then the weather started to improve as we continued the loop, back around the old man of storr.
back behind the rock formations there were lots of spots for moses and gabriel to scramble and run and play and jump, and the rain was over, so we had a great time just enjoying this unique and beautiful spot.
and then we headed back down the mountain.
we made it back to our car, happy to have had an epic adventure together.
the weather turned again! back to drizzly windy rain, and the three younger kids all fell asleep in their car seats. so we decided that i would take the children on a scenic drive while ian completed the quiraing hike. he said he’d run the trail so that he could be done by the time the little ones woke up. and he did it … a loop that takes most fit hikers 3ish hours he ran in 90 minutes!
when he showed me the pictures he took (on his crappy iphone camera), and suggested i do the hike myself later while he put the kids to bed, i decided i couldn’t pass that up.
so after more pretty views on the way back to our airbnb (and some playing at the nearby playground with the kids)…
… i hit the quiraing trail right at golden hour.
i was the only human on the trail that evening – it was just me, the sheep, and mother earth. this experience felt thrilling and sacred, and deeply healing. when i think of those hours, working my body and taking in incredible beauty, connecting with the creator of both, i am to this day in awe. this is one of my favourite things i’ve ever done in my life. (and yes, i took a lot of photos. i narrowed them down a lot…)
darkness started taking over just as i got to our car in the empty car park.
and the clouds continued lighting up pink and orange as i drove. it was past 10pm!
i had to pull over to capture the end of this sunset. it was like a kiss on the cheek from god after such an amazing and healing experience on that hike.
the isle of skye will always be a “thin place” for me.
(“thin place” is a term derived from celtic origins that is described as a place where the boundary between heaven and earth becomes thin and almost translucent.)
Char, your photography, not to mention your writing, is truly stunning!
Absolutely incredible. I’m so glad you were both able to enjoy that scenery and have a solo hike or run. What a great partnership that both of you work to make those pockets of time happen for each other, realizing that you need it, but that the other needs it too. And of course making it possible for the kids to have their experience with you. Lastly, to share the views here, because I benefit simply from the photos! 🙂