Sunday, 17 June 2007

The problem with Skye

To reach Skye, one drives through Dornie. It is not a big place and, were it not for the flight of fancy of a wealthy family in the early 1900s it may have little claim to fame at all. As it is, the MacRae-Gilstrap family bought a wee island there in 1911. On this island stood the ruins of a castle. And for twenty years they painstakingly restored this ruin, turning it into the glorious incarnation of Eilean Donan Castle we know today.

It is hailed by many as the most romantic castle in Scotland and may well be the most photographed. Here's one I took:


Not far beyond this sentinel one suddenly reaches the far more modern outline of Skye Bridge. And beyond that bridge the problem begins.

You see, Skye is magnificent. And breathtaking. It's breathtakingly magnificent. Each corner reveals a vista more glorious than the last. The view from the front is as good as the view from the back. And therein lies the frustration.

It cannot be captured on film. I tried. I took this photo.

Then this one...

And this... (where Lady MacLeod left her tables).


But none come close to the pictures I see when I close my eyes, imagine the warmth on my shoulders and the breeze across my face. None capture the freedom I felt and the deep sense of well being that stayed with me throughout our visit.
The photos have nothing on my memories.
I think I'll get out my paints.

12 comments:

Pascale Clerk said...

Skye is fascinating. It's impossible not to fall in love with the place.

The Good Woman said...

It is, PC. And I am.

Gwen said...

I have never been but your photographs are excellent. Putting paint to paper also sounds like a lovely idea.

lady macleod said...

A fitting tribute to my home! sigh, now I'm a bit homesick I am. I must now scroll back and read your other Skye entries that I missed. Happy Father's Day to Bambi's Da'.

Drunk Mummy said...

I went to Skye once on a summer holiday. It was shrouded in mist the whole time we were there - but very atmospheric. I felt like I had spent a week in the opening scene of 'Macbeth.' Great to see your photos of what it looks like when the mist lifts!

Motheratlarge said...

You do a great job of conveying the beauty of the place. An hour or so ago husband and I were admiring photos of Skye in a gallery. Yours give just as good a portrait of the island as those did. When I was a kid we went there on family holidays for years - fond memories.

Cursed Tea said...

I know what you mean. My Mum lives on Skye and I have relatives there from my Dad's side. I've been going there since I was a child. Its beauty is impossible to capture on film - if it were I'd have a big poster on my wall in New Orleans. But Skye is elusive to those who try to take it away with them. The true beauty of the place stays in your memories.

It's gorgeous but luckily the midgies and the incessant rain keep too many tourists at bay!!

Best Wishes
Kirsty

The Good Woman said...

Gwen - inspired I am!

Lady M - just remember the rain. We were extremely lucky - although Drunk Mummy found even that atmospheric. It is a remarkably beautiful place.

Drunk Mummy - happy to be of (photographic) service.

Motheratlarge - I think the fond memories may have added to the quality of my snaps. But thank you!

Cursed tea. Elusive indeed. We were even fortunate enough to avoid midgies. As far as I'm concerned Skye makes for a Med type holiday - I can't understand why these Scots all keep leaving for Majorca!

Katie said...

It's impossible to take a bad photo of Skye. It is, by far, one of my favourite places in Scotland.

Elsie Button said...

it is IMPOSSIBLE to capture the beauty of it on camera - memories are much better. saying that, i love your photos! Skye is incredible - we spent a wonderful few weeks camping there.

The Good Woman said...

Katie and Elsie - I'm glad to have rekindled some of your memories too...

Scotsman said...

I had a similar problem to yourself, it was made worse that I was only there two days and most of that time the island was covered in a summery haze (oddly this was in October, last year) that didn't melt away until it was time to drive home, but its always an excuse to go back again someday during that sunny fortnight.
Not sure if this link will work or not but here's some pictures for the memories.
http://picasaweb.google.com/justascotsman/TheIsleOfSkye