This is a day that will have to be split into two posts. It was just too phenomenal. We packed a whole lot into that day, and the weather cooperated beautifully!
I woke up to the sound of sheep baa'ing and, seeing that the rain had subsided from the day before, couldn't resist getting out of the motorhome to see our surroundings now that they weren't shrouded in dusk and rain. Homes in the Scottish countryside are almost entirely whitewashed, and it makes for a beautiful sight--the contrast of the white up against the earthy hues of the landscape is lovely!
I crossed the street to see some of the sheep roaming the hills that slope from the road up to form large cliffs which drop dramatically off into the ocean. Evidence of that to come further down in the post.
I spent some quality time with a mother sheep and her two little lambs. Is there anything more adorable than white little lambs? I have my doubts. The sun was just beginning to peak over the cliffs, and it was such a sight to behold!
Once we were all ready for the day, we drove a couple miles and began a hike to see the Old Man of Storr. It's a 165-foot pinnacle formed by landslides (as was most of the Trotternish Peninsula on the northern edge of Skye), and the views from the hike are incredible on all sides. With the pinnacle on one side, Loch Leathan on another, and the ocean on the other, it is truly stunning!
Click on the picture below for a 360 degree panoramic view of the area. So stunning.
Our next stop was Lealt Falls and Gorge. I almost cut this one out of the itinerary since we had less time than destinations, but I'm so glad I didn't! The views here were spectacular! The green hills were covered in sheep which were all grazing on the very edge of the cliffs. The waterfall at Lealt is nearly 300 feet tall, and the cliffs that surround the falls are nearly 400 feet high.
Just a few minutes up the road from Lealt Falls was Mealt Falls and Kilt Rock. Mealt Falls is pretty incredible. The water drops 180 feet straight into the Sound of Raasay. The cliffs behind are thought to look like a kilt, with their lovely verticle basalt columns forming the pleats. The water in the sound is such a rich, deep blue; the tall, dark basalt columns and the green and burnt orange grass on the cliffs make for quite the landscape.
Our next stop was mind-blowing. And so was the drive up to it. The Quiraing is the result of what the Brits call a "landslip," or landslide. The entire peninsula was formed as a result of landslides, but the Quiraing is the only part still moving and changing. The road that leads to it on the east has to be fixed yearly due to the ever-changing landscape. That drive was stunning--both visually and literally. It was definitely the scariest portion of driving in Scotland. The road is steep, narrow, and winding--a highly-photographed road because of just how majestic its surroundings are and just how crazy the ride is! It's an interesting one for normal cars, so it was especially exhilarating for us in our giant motorhome.
Pictures can convey a lot, but they just can NOT do justice to a landscape like the Quiraing. I used my phone's panorama mode so many times to try to capture it all, and it helps you get an idea of just how incredible this place is! These pictures can be expanded if you click on them.
Isn't it incredible?! And this was only the first half of the day!