Àird and Hebridean Princess

13 April 2009: still on Skye, taking a trip down to the Braes area south of Portree, for a walk onto the Àird peninsula. As we approach Portree on our return journey, there’s an interesting-looking vessel in the harbour, worth a closer look. It’s “Hebridean Princess”, a small cruise ship which started life as MacBrayne’s “Columba”, operating out of Oban.

13 April 2020: Stretching our legs, we pass fields where seed was being drilled just a couple of weeks ago. Today, those same fields are greening rapidly.

12 April – 2007 and 2009

2007: A day trip to north Wales. We thought we ought to visit Llandudno, for a trip on the cable-hauled Great Orme tramway (taking the tram up, then walking back down again). While we were up, so to speak, we thought we could go down the mine – the remarkable bronze-age copper mine, all the more noteworthy for being open to the public. We finished our day with a brief visit to Penrhyn Castle, where we just had time to look at the wonderful collection of ancient industrial steam locomotives.

2009: Another great Skye day, with an outing to the coral beach beyond Dunvegan. Later in the day, a clear sunny evening was perfect for a walk along the road to enjoy the warm light and the sunset behind the Western Isles.

Now and then

More “on this day”… Today, on a warm and sunny afternoon, we’ve had a pleasant short leg-stretch, walking from home. On 11 April 2017, I enjoyed a walk with a friend, beside the canal at Audlem. Eight years earlier (11/4/09), we’d arrived on Skye, and visited Rubha nam Brathairean, an attractive little rocky spur on the east coast of Trotternish. It was quiet then, but in recent years the minibus tours have found it, and we were greatly outnumbered last time we visited. I suspect it’s as quiet today as it was in 2009 – if not quieter.

Day’s end

Friday evening: the end of the day and almost the end of our trip. The sun has shone from an unbroken blue sky all day – we’ll watch it set in the gap between North Uist and South Harris, during a tranquil hour which will serve me well during the next couple of days. Tomorrow we’re heading for Edinburgh – a relatively pleasant and easy drive; on Sunday we’ll head for the border and the joy that is the M6. There may be times on that journey when I’ll need to think back to these moments.

The pictures, which are in chronological order, need no captions.

No fairies…

…the visitors have frightened them all away! Friday: a walk up to the Fairy Glen near Uig – with the emphasis on “walk”. The first time we visited this curious and fascinating landscape in miniature, we had the place to ourselves. That was perhaps getting on for 40 years ago – now it’s firmly on the tourist to-do list (remember to pack the selfie stick!). Driving up there is not to be recommended – parking is limited and potentially boggy, and then there are the adventure minibuses to contend with. But between the passing cars it’s quiet and a pleasant walk – and much easier to take in the scenery and the ambience.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=140635&Y=863337&A=Y&Z=120