Skyewalker Hostel

* “Skyewalker?” The bus driver immediately asked when we told him we were going to Portnalong. That he could guess where we were putting down our backpacks for the next few days was not a surprise; there are few options for accommodations in Portnalong. In fact, my sister and I were going to Portnalong precisely because we were staying where […]

A Small-Town Girl’s Short Guide to Portnalong

* Portnalong isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they think of visiting the Isle of Skye. There are no tourist attractions in Portnalong itself; the nearest is probably the Talisker Distillery in Carbost, about an hour’s walk away. There are only a few accommodations to choose from and the bus […]

Inverness to Kyle of Localsh

* They say it’s the journey, not the destination. On the train ride from Inverness to Kyle of Localsh, that’s certainly true. The train journeys between Fort William and Mallaig and between Inverness and Kyle of Localsh are generally acknowledged to be among the best in the world in terms of scenery. More people seem to favor the former but […]

Culloden Battlefield

* Because I don’t have the words. If you want to know a bit more about the Jacobite Rebellions, Andrew Ross MacDonald’s website is a good place to start. Andrew, of Hame Tours, is a local historian, folklorist and traditional Scots singer and his guidance was extremely valuable to us in understanding Scotland’s heritage and […]

Outlander

* Scotland wasted no time being Scotland. Mere minutes after we pulled out of Edinburgh on our way to Inverness, the skies — already overcast to begin with — started dropping big beads of rain on the roof and windows of our train. No matter. The gloomy weather only enhanced the drama of the scenes unfolding outside. Mountains, […]

Inside the Caledonian Sleeper

* * Sleeper trains can save you time and money, but of the ones I’ve had the opportunity to try, the most that can be said about their comfort level is that they’re tolerable. I’ve been on one of the top bunks of a 6-couchette compartment and I can tell you it’s no fun not […]