Isle of Skye, Scotland – Day 4 (Waternish Peninsula, Dunvegan and Trumpan)
The sun shines sometimes believe it or not on the vast expansive terrain of Scotland so I learned today! I also learned that no matter what road you take here in the Highlands, you won’t be disappointed and you won’t see the same terrain in more than one place. It’s as if every 5 minutes you are in a new country….even a new world – talk about diversity. Today we did the Waternish Peninsula, Dunvegan and Trumpan.
In Trumpan, we photographed Sea Eagles which are very rare especially three together so we learned from an ornithologist we met today.
We also visited the ruins of an old church in Trumpan where a boulder was what we refer to as judge, jury and executioner! As a lawyer, this got my attention. It turns out that the boulder has a hole in it where the Scottish would conduct what we might refer to as a trial. The way it worked is if an accused could manage to put his finger in the hole in the boulder he was found innocent. The catch, however, is he must do this blindfolded in a “pin the tail on the donkey” fashion. If he can’t find the hole (head out of the gutter folks!) on his one try while blindfolded, the accused was executed. Depending on who the Defendant is, aren’t you glad we didn’t live in these times? 😉
We headed to Dunvegan Castle next.
This is where we learned about the Fairy Flag. Legend has it that the Fairy Flag’s magic can only be used 3 times. We know of two times it was allegedly used by the clan – once it was raised to increase MaCleod’s military forces in order to win a battle among the clans and once it was used to swaddle a baby – an heir – to keep it safe. Guess they better use their last wish from their “Jeanie in a Bottle” wisely. My hope and prayer is that they use it to restore Scotland’s independence from England during the next referendum. That’s what I would do. Scotland is way too unique and way too special to not have independence.
Another interesting story we heard at Dunvegan was about a dispute over ownership of the now UNESCO World Heritage site of St. Kilda between the MacDonald and MacCleod clans. In order to settle the dispute, the clans chose a boat race from the mainland to the island and whichever clan placed a hand on St. Kilda first would be the undisputed owner of St. Kilda. The MacDonald clan was decidedly ahead in the race and was without a doubt going to arrive first at St. Kilda and, as such, a man from the MacCleod clan is alleged to have cut off his own hand and threw it from the boat onto St. Kilda thereby being the first to put a “hand” on St. Kilda and that’s how the MacCleod clan came into possession of St. Kilda. Now I got to hand it to the MacCleods, what a handy way to win a race. I’m guessing the ladies got a little handsy when the handless hero returned to the MacCleod Clan to celebrate his victory.
But Dunvegan’s true splendor is in its gardens.
The best part of the day yet again was the drive home. I mean it’s the Isle of Skye and there are few comparable places for lush scenery in the world just begging to be photographed. Watch the terrain and watch the dance between light and shadows, sun and clouds….it’s breathtaking…it’s provocative…resplendent.
And then, of course, there are no words to describe the sunset we saw on our way home.
That’s all for now from the Isle of Skye.