In Scotland we have a rich vocabulary of local words that we use to describe the weather. One of these is “dreich” — dreary and grey. Today was one such day, and we woke up to heavy clouds and drizzling rain. Given the lovely weather we’d enjoyed throughout the rest of the trip, none of us felt like we could complain. Instead, we pulled on our waterproof trousers, our raincoats and hiking boots, and we went out to embrace the wet and windy morning on the Island of Skye.
We arrived at Armadale on the Sleat Peninsula not long after breakfast. This part of the island is known as the Garden of Skye, as it is influenced by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate and vibrant plant life. We experienced this firsthand on our visit to the gardens at Armadale Castle, which is surrounded by a network of beautiful trees, ponds, and gardens. Guests enjoyed wandering around the peaceful grounds and taking photographs of the colorful flowers. We also explored the museum, which gave a comprehensive and detailed overview of the history we encountered throughout the trip.
Once back on board, we sat down for a delicious lunch as we sailed towards Kyle of Lochalsh. We could choose between two options for our final afternoon of activities: either a local hike or a trip to Eilean Donan castle.
Those on the guided hike followed a trail up to a viewpoint of the Cullin Hills; those who chose the trip to Eilean Donan had a chance to snap Scotland’s most photographed castle and learn about its rich history. The castle we saw today is the fourth version, but it was back in the 13th century that Alexander II built the first to protect the area from Viking incursions. The weather had brightened by the time we set off for our afternoon adventures, and both groups enjoyed dry weather and even a spot of sunshine.
Once we returned to the ship, it was time for the much-anticipated guest slideshow. We gathered in the lounge with drinks and canapés to look back at the photos from the week — it was incredible to see how much we had experienced in such a short time. The Captain gave a farewell toast, and we all raised a glass to celebrate Scotland and a fantastic trip. Finally, it was time to enjoy a special Scottish dinner, which of course featured haggis!