June 18th & 19th, 2012
This is the road that descends into the town called Applecross. I don’t get carsick but this road could take down even the strongest stomach. This photo cannot do justice to how steep and windy this road is with the hills towering on either side. It was truly mangnificent!
We spent the night in a small town (not that there are any big ones) called Lochalsh which sits right on the mainland side of the bridge to the Isle of Skye.
This is our hotel; The Tingle Creek Hotel which is named after a famous race horse. The first owner of the hotel bet on Tingle Creek at the races and bought the hotel with his winnings. It was a lovely location looking over the water towards the Isle of Skye.
The next day we visted Eilean Donan castle which is said to be the most photographed castle in Scotland. Needless to say it is quite picturesque with the bridge over the water to the castle. (this photo was taken at low tide)
The castle was sieged and destroyed during the Jacobite rising in 1719 and laid in ruin for 200 years until it was bought in 1911 and restored to it’s original 13th century design. The restoration process took 20 years and the castle was opened in 1935.
We were not permitted to take photos inside the castle but there were two things that I found interesting about the interior.
The walls in the staircase behind the main hall had holes in it that peered into the main hall. I enquired about these and were told that they were listening holes. They weren’t designed as much to watch the guests of the castle as they were to eavesdrop on their converstaions. This is becasue clans were known to come to a castle posing as friends and then betray the inhabitants in the middle of the night from the inside.
I was also struck by the width of the staircases and doorways. I am by no means a large person and I had to narrow my shoulders to fit through some of the passageways!
While in the middle of taking photos of this peaceful and picturesque scene the sky was torn in two and I was rocked nearly off my feet by a deafening sound.
I spun my camera around just in time to catch two fighter jets racing by at an unbelievably low altitude. They were only visible for a moment before they disappeared into the next valley below the peaks of the not-so-high hills beside me.
I guess it shouldn’t seem so out of place to see instruments of war near a castle. Perhaps it was being blasted back to the present century by the breaking of the sound barrier that I found so jarring!