Portree, Scotland was a pleasant surprise

Portree, Scotland was a gem on the Isle of Skye in Scotland with the added attraction of being on the ocean with a very protected harbour.  This was a tender port for us as the town dock was not big enough to handle the Amsterdam.  At anchor our ship seemed to be rubbing the hills at the bow and stern making it a very imposing sight from shore.  Mariners reading this blog will be interested to know that an outside team of experts had to come on board before we departed to “swing” the compass.  Once a year the mechanical compass on the ship needs to be recalibrated with an outside crew doing the certification. This involved turning the ship 360 degrees keeping the ship in one central location while the calibration is done using a fixed point on the land.

While many of the passengers chose to stay in town and walk the narrow streets, our tour bus took us inland to see the rolling hills, large herds of sheep and a countryside that was bursting with spring colours.  A highlight of the bus tour was the visit to Dunvegan Castle and Gardens.  The castle is open to the public but is still the home of its owners who occupy the upper floors when in residence.  The castle is the ancestral home of the McLeod clan and much of the artwork on the walls depicts the family members through the years and the members of the royal family that regularly visit the castle either by land or water.

Time is always a factor when you are on a bus tour as the ship will not wait very long if you are not back on time.  Unfortunately this meant we could not sample the amazing fish and chip restaurants up from the town dock nor the many types of single malt scotch that Scotland is famous for.  Whisky we learned was the proper spelling for the drink while elsewhere the drink is whiskey.  Now you know.

The Isle of Skype goes down on the list of places that need to be revisited.  One short day was just not enough.

Mountains soar up around Portree harbour.

Salmon farms mark the entrance to Portree harbour.

With the tide out, the pastel painted homes along the narrow streets seem setback a long way from the water.

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