Isle of Skye

This gorgeous  island is part of the inner Hebrides, and connects to the Scottish mainland through a short bridge. It has a volcanic origin, like much of the Highlands region. People have lived here for thousands of years. There were conflicts with the invading Norse, but they wound up settling here more peacefully than in other areas. Today Skye  is home to many people who raise sheep, they graze everywhere on the hillsides. The beauty here has a sad and lonely side; many Highlands residents were forced to leave in the 1800s when landowners brought in large numbers of sheep. People described the landholding arrangements in Scotland as being basically feudal. There are projects, particularly the one I’ll soon describe on the Isle of Eigg, to change this situation. I hope they can spread through Scotland!

The first Skye shot is the Black and White Hills. There is a story of how the Irish warrior Cuchelaine came here to fight with a warrior queen. Neither could defeat the other. Eventually, one of the queen’s followers gave them a meal that included hazelnuts. The ancient Scots and Irish believed eating hazelnuts made people wise. They settled their fight, expressed admiration for each other, and became (at least) friends.

The second shot shows the Plaid Cliffs. They are formed from  successive bands of volcanic basalt  with lighter colored sediments. Notice the rainbow that is near the waterfall. The third shot shows the Faerie Pools area. Its said that the faerie’s world connects with ours here. The faeries were mischievous…. they pounded us with heavy rain and wind.

The fourth is Kyle Akin, our hometown on Skye. . We were told that this quiet town was a real hotbed in the recent  movement for Scottish independence.  This initiative lost in a recent election, but there are still lots of “YES!”, pro independence signs in windows here. The fifth shot is a sunset… Skye’s residents say they have the best sunsets on earth.

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About pelicanguy6

I'm an environmental educator and writer currently based in Oakland, California. I plan to include a hiking/nature journal on this blog, along with articles on environmental education, travel articles, poetry, and spontaneous thoughts. I am a passionate hiker and camper and a world traveler. I really enjoy cooking vegetarian feasts, and specialize in veggie German meals for Oktoberfest.
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