23.08.2010 - 25.08.2010 15 °C
Well, people like to complain about the Scottish summer, and I can see why. Skye has rather dramatic weather-wise, with heavy rain and mist, sun and everything in between, all in the same day. Nothing much stops the midges though, a kind of mossie that is almosy translucent and therefore nearly invisible to the eye. Thankfully the tramper in me had thought to bring mossie repellant and it worked a treat. Would have been pretty miserable without that stuff. The midges even get onto your scalp and bite with little stinging jabs. Nasty critters!
Enough of the moaning. In spite of the weather Caitlin and I walked each morning before breakfast. Lovely to explore our little village of Broadford on foot. We spent our free day on Skye exploring as much of the island as possible. I took the kids to see some of the places Geoff and I had enjoyed, like Dunvegan Castle, the coral beaches (too wet to get out when we actually got there), the Waternish peninsular (arts and crafts), the "Old Man of Storr" (a massive rock shaped like a giant club standing on its own near a rocky cliff face), the Cuillin mountains and of course Portree, the lovely capital of Skye (where we married).
It was probably a little difficult for the kids to relate to, but for me it was fabulous to retrace some of my own past. Also quite emotional. It brought back memories of my life with Geoff pre-children, and the many happy times and adventures we had as "youngsters". On leaving Skye, it felt surprisingly ok to acknowledge that was then and this is now, and I could could say farewell and be at peace with that.
So we travelled on to Edinburgh. Quite a bit of rain, which did not auger well for the Tattoo, which we were to see that night. As it happened, the evening cleared up and we ventured into town for dinner before the Tattoo, feeling tentatively positive (armed with umbrellas and light plastic ponchos which we bought in case of a rain emergency). There was intermittent drizzle through the show, but it didn't dampen spirits. The stadium, which had been set up in the castle grounds was packed full, and the show went on even in the rain. It really is a spectacular show, and to my surprise, and delight, even Finlay enjoyed it.
Had a free day in Edinburgh the next day. Mooched about looking at shops and fringe festival performers. The Edinburgh festival really brings in the crowds, and it quite amusing to walk through the streets and see the performers, some of whom might simply have been rather eccentric locals. We went to a standup comedy show in the evening, crammed into the back room of a tiny pub. One of the comedians joked he sat down on a bollard in the street to eat a banana, and when he looked up a crowd had gathered round him, and by the time he'd finished his banana he'd earned 6pounds!
Our early morning rambles through Edinburgh netted some lovely fantasies as Caitlin and I eyed up the beautiful 5 storey town houses for sale. Splendidl homes of large proportions that we will never be able to afford.
We left Edinburgh on a fine, sunny morning. We had York in our sites.