TechnomadicsVagabonding Europe

The Quiraing

“What’s that burning thing in the sky??!” Oh — it’s the sun. So it does still exist, then.

We jump on the opportunity to do some sight-seeing unmolested by the elements in this rainy, cloudy land, and take off. It’s beautifully clear and sunny, a few delightfully fluffy clouds here and there. We set off back the way we’d come, around the tip of the Trotternish Peninsula, and we enjoy some very picturesque scenery. We can see the jagged purple shapes of the islands of the Outer Hebrides out off the coast, deep blue ocean, and fields of bright emerald grass.

Trotternish Peninsula

Trotternish Peninsula

We spotted some compellingly quaint thatched huts (which reminded Katherine of Grug) in a cluster on the drive up the other day, and noticed that it was a museum. This time, we drop in to the Skye Museum of Island Life, and have a poke around. This was a crofters’ village once — it now houses in each hut displays describing the various aspects of life on this island at the edge of the world. It didn’t seem incredibly pleasant for much of it, mostly because of the Bloody English.

Skye Museum of Island Life

Skye Museum of Island Life

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Skye Museum of Island Life

It’s late afternoon by the time we turn up the little track leading towards the Quiraing, a spectacular part of the Trotternish Ridge escarpment, and the land glows in that beautiful afternoon light that makes everything look magical.

This is a place of looming cliffs, jutting crags, sweeping mountains, and, yep, sheep. Because it’s so late in the day, we pretty much have the place to ourselves.

We strap on our hiking boots and set out along the pathway that winds underneath one of the towering escarpments.

The Quiriang

The Quiraing

The walk leads us between two immense crags with views over the sea and the plains of the island, the wind beating at our ears, then northwards into the shadow of the cliffs, the land dotted with rockfall debris and small lochs.

The Quiriang

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Then we turn upwards, and ascend a ridge up onto the cliff top.

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My one-foot-after-the-other reverie is interrupted sporadically by giggles from behind, as Katherine has donned earbuds and is listening to a hilariously poorly-voice-acted audio book, “The Outlanders”, recommended by our friend Keith.

Finally, a long damp trek though marsh and grassland on the plateau brings us back (Katherine, hiking enthusiast: “I don’t know what I hate more. Going up, or going down.”)

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Scotland, you do not disappoint.

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4 Responses to The Quiraing: A Place of Near-Mythical Beauty

  1. Andrea says:

    So beautiful!! We’re in Ireland and off to Scotland next – looks like there is actually some sunshine to make those gorgeous green colours pop!

    • Michael says:

      Cheers, Andrea!

      Yes indeed, you have to wait for it to happen, but it does get sunny from time to time =)

      (It’s nice to get a glimpse of the Cliffs of Moher on your blog – when we were there, it was like having your head in a bag.)

  2. henning says:

    Wow, I definitely have to put Scotland on my “places I should visit” list. By the way, what camera are you using?

    • Michael says:

      It’s well worth a visit, for sure! Just magic. I miss it!

      Our camera’s a Canon EOS 400D with a Sigma 17-70mm lens on it; we post-process in iPhoto, and do a lot of HDR using Photomatix =)