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Blue skies, a wedding and a big mistake, oh, and Glencoe!

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Now, you need to be careful how you read the title and I’d better clarify it before my wife takes umbrage – the big mistake had nothing to do with the wedding!!

We’ve just returned from a trip to the Isle of Skye, which turned out to be very eventful – starting with the journey up there on the first day. We’d expected an ‘interesting’ start to the holiday as we’d planned to drive up in one day – 10 hours of driving plus stops – so we weren’t too sure what time we’d arrive, even though we aimed to set off at 5am. What we didn’t anticipate was experiencing all four seasons of weather in one day – we got the lot, fog to start with followed by rain, sleet, snow and sunshine by the time we arrived on the island.

Despite the dodgy weather, we were able to enjoy some stunning scenery – particularly Glencoe – which made the journey more bearable and we eventually arrived at about 6.30pm.

BLUE SKIES – prior to our trip, we’d completed all of the necessary research and been informed that; it always rains on Skye, there are few cafés or toilet facilities, petrol stations hardly exist and the petrol is expensive, so we’d made plans accordingly – we’d invested in expensive wet weather gear, bought flasks for the coffee, hoped we could find a bush big enough to hide behind for the ‘comfort’ breaks and filled up with fuel – only to find that none of this is true!

From day two, through to the end of the holiday, we had nothing but sunshine, which made the photography difficult, and it was obvious from the state of the waterfalls and rivers that there had been little rain for some time and while cafes and toilets aren’t around every corner, you don’t have to drive too far to stumble upon one.

WEDDING – we’d already arranged the holiday on Skye before deciding that it was the perfect place to get married and have a honeymoon, so that’s exactly what we did – no fuss, no ‘discussions’ regarding who to invite and, did I mention, no fuss!! The Registry Office was booked for the Friday, so the first stop, on the day, was to grab a coffee to calm the nerves (both of us!) followed by arriving at the office to meet the witnesses (arranged with the local charity shop, yes, seriously) before the actual ceremony.

The ceremony lasted approximately 15 minutes and included a Celtic tradition of ‘Handfasting’, which was a nice touch – this is where the hands are bound together and may possibly refer to the expression “tying the knot”. We must make special mention here of Lorna, the marriage celebrant, and the two witnesses, Chris & Marion from the charity Crossroads, who made our special day complete – the three of them were terrific.

After the ceremony, it was back to the café for the wedding breakfast (a cappuccino and breakfast bap!) before taking our own wedding pictures on Staffin beach and returning to the cottage to cut the cake – a battenburg – no expense spared with us!

A BIG MISTAKE – further into the holiday and we made a return trip to Elgol for a sunset shoot (we’d been the previous day but had no luck) and it was to prove a costly trip for me – perched on the rocks, with the tide coming in, camera on the tripod ready to take a pic, all seemed set to go but I decided to change a filter on the camera and turned away for a split second – yes, you guessed it, as I turned away and picked up the filter there was a loud clunk and I turned back to find the camera and tripod sitting six feet below me in the sea! I was able to rescue most of the equipment but neither the camera, lens or tripod are working now (the tripod was only a couple of weeks old) so it was a very expensive lesson that I hope I’ve learned from. Fortunately, I had a second camera with me and could continue to take pics for the rest of the holiday.

The Isle of Skye is a superb place to go, with dramatic scenery and some stunning places to visit, plus it has probably the friendliest people we have ever met – all of them took time to chat and had a cheery smile to share, which made the holiday/honeymoon all the more enjoyable.

If you ever decide to visit, please note that the island has roads in the worst condition we’ve ever encountered – potholes and crumbling verges – and could ruin a car, if you weren’t careful. Apparently, this is due to a lack of investment being available and leads to some amateur repair jobs – no fault of the islanders because they attempt to do their best but, with the amount of tourists on the island, this is something that needs looking at.

GLENCOE – while Skye was a delight, I think the highlight of the trip (aside from the wedding, obviously) had to be the stop off in Glencoe as we made our way home – we had very little time here but took a trip down the Glen Etive road – a 12 mile stretch of single track road that winds its way through some ridiculously gorgeous countryside before ending up at Loch Etive.

There is only a small car park at the loch and we were fortunate enough to get the last space so were able to take a wander along the shores – wow, what a place and I’m hoping that I may have got some decent shots from here (still to be downloaded).

As we were only able to spend a short time here, we will need to come back to properly explore it and I don’t think it will be too long before that happens.

Apologies for the lengthy write up and we must ensure that in future we find the time to post something during our trips away, rather than saving it all until the end.

Finally, we’d like to thank a couple of people – Chris Rutter, for his in depth knowledge of photography and assistance during our day out with him plus the lovely self catering cottage he runs. Also to Lynne Douglas who owns the Skye Blue Gallery and produces some fantastic work – prints and other artwork – who took time out to discuss her photography and give us a ‘behind the scenes’ look at her studio. She has left both us inspired and enthused to produce better pictures than we currently do.

Lone tree on path to Camunasary beach, Isle of Skye

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