Out On the Edge
Written by Julian Lopez-Morillas   
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 21:12

     Well, here we are on the Isle of Lewis, which is just about as far northwest as you can get and still be in Europe. I figure us to be slightly closer to Iceland than to Paris.

    This was kind of the high-water mark of our post-Edinburgh trip, for me at least-- I've been hungering for many years to see the standing stones at Callanish, which many regard as superior to Stonehenge, and we're here at last.

    We left Oban on Friday, and after driving through Glencoe in cloud and drizzle (as it's been every time I've been there), and having a pub lunch in Fort William, arrived in Fort Augustus in the late afternoon, at a wonderful guest house run by Mrs. Jenny Mackenzie, the Old Pier House. Friends, if you're going to be making a trip to the Highlands, make this magnificent place by the shores of Loch Ness a centerpiece of your visit! A lovely working farm with horses and Highland cattle, with the charming, multilingual Jenny fully in charge (though she'll be handing operations over soon to her strikingly handsome grandson, Ossian, who is in training to take the place over):

        Then next day we returned to Skye, where we renewed acquaintance with the great and informative Clan Donald Centre and with our hosts in 2001, Alan and Barbara Christie at Swordale House. Remind us to tell you about the hilarious Tattie Bogal scarecrow festival around the Talisker distillery, of which we took way too many pictures to post here! After a second night in Skye we embarked on the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry for Harris, where we spent the night and then a happy morning driving a loop around the south part of the island, seeing beautiful beaches, stark moorland landscapes and the charming 16th-century kirk at Rodel:

    And then yesterday arrived in Lewis, with its beautifully preserved Iron Age broch, surprising beaches:

    ...and of course, those evocative, haunting, mysterious standing stones:

    Ferry back to Ullapool on the mainland tomorrow. I'll post again from the Highlands on the weekend...