If my Round the Isle road trip is a multi course delicious dinner, then the main course has to be Isle of Skye!
如果我的英倫環島遊是一頓有多道美味菜式的晚餐，那麼天空島Isle of Skye一定是主菜喔！
There are two ways to get onto the Isle of Skye. First is via ferry from Mallaig which is near where we stayed the night before and the other is via the Skye Bridge on the east side of the Skye. The two points on the Isle of Skye are only about half an hour drive apart, but on the mainland the two points are nearly three hours drive apart! When we arrived at our B&B the previous night, the owner asked if we had booked the ferry for the next morning as there are only two ferries a day in the winter using a small vessel which carries around 20 vehicles. I’m glad she asked as we hadn’t, and she kindly helped us to make the reservation otherwise we would have had an epic start to our Isle of Skye journey!
從蘇格蘭本島到天空島有兩個途徑，一是乘渡輪，另外是經陸路及天空橋。在天空島上從碼頭駕車到天空橋只需要半小時左右，但在蘇格蘭本島對岸，駕車從碼頭到天空橋卻要三個多小時。我們決定之前一晚在渡輪碼頭附近的Mallaig民宿住一晚，然後第二天清早乘渡輪到天空島。抵達民宿時，房東問我們有沒有預訂船票，因為在冬季每天只有兩班船，而且每班船只可以載20輛車。真的很感激她這樣一問，還馬上幫我們打電話訂船票，否則我們就需要大清早多駕車3小時才能到天空島呢！Fairy Pools sounded really magical and was my first port of call after arriving at Isle of Skye. I wasn’t sure what to expect other than spectacular waterfalls so followed some other walkers towards the stunning Black Cullins. About an hour into the walk, and after I’d passed by some pretty pools and small waterfalls, I was still eagerly looking forward to THE Fairy Pool. After an hour we decided to turn back, and as we walked back I figured the pools we saw must have been THE Fairy Pools. The little waterfalls dropping into beautiful blue and green clear pools wasn’t what I had expected, yet it was nonetheless very enchanting, as if a little fairy would suddenly appear from the pools.
到天空島後我們馬上到仙子潭 Fairy Pools，聽說那裏有很多很美的瀑布。我們隨著其他行山人士走向Black Cullins 山脈，沿路上看見多個細小而又迷人的瀑布，不知聞名的仙子潭會是怎麼樣呢？行了超過一小時，前面的人群也開始稀少，所以我們也決定回頭。我相信剛才路上看見那些迷人翠綠的小瀑布應該就是仙子潭吧。雖然它沒有我想像中那麼宏偉而有點失望，但那一級級的小瀑佈流著翠綠的溪水，也頗引人入勝，好像隨時會有小仙子游上來似的。The other two famous landmarks on the Isle of Skye are the Old Man of Storr and The Quiraing. The Old Man is a pinnacle of rock around 50 meters tall created by ancient geological movement, and its base is around 719 meters above sea level giving you plenty of exercise to get there. To give you an idea of tall the Old Man is, here’s a photo I took before I went up and another one of me standing in the same spot as the person in the first photo. The climb to the Old Man involved a bit of scrambling but once we got up there, the spectacular view with the clouds floating around was worth every bit of effort. It also shows how small mankind is compared to the force of nature.天空島另外兩個著名景點就是老人石The Old Man Storr及 Quaraing。老人石是經過遠古時代地質移動而形成的一座50米高大石頭。它有海拔719米高，爬上去也需花一點氣力，真可算是一項身心健康的活動。我未爬上去之前在山腳下拍了一張照片，裏面那一小點站著一位人士，就是我在第二張照片裏爬上去之後站在同一位置。從照片中真是可以體會到，比較起大自然，人是多麼的渺小噢！The Quiraing is on the northern part of the Isle of Skye and the start of the walk, where the sea meets the sky, is absolutely breathtaking.
Quiraing在天空島的北部，而我們步行的起點景色簡直是令人目不暇給，美得沒有天與海之分。Like The Old Man of Storr, the landscape at The Quiraing is a result of a series of landslips over the years and this has created many impressive rock formation. Some even have their own names such as The Prison, The Needle and The Table. I think you need a bit of imagination to recognise them but we did see The Needle and stood on The Table, though I couldn’t work out where The Prison was. In my view, the entire area as gorgeous as it is, is also quite rocky and dangerous and could easily become a prison if you are not careful and get stranded in bad weather or the dark!
跟老人石一樣Quiraing是遠古時代地質移動而形成很多形狀特別的石頭。有些石頭甚至被賜於很別致的名稱例如監獄，針及桌子。我覺得你真是需要花一點想像力才可以找到那些特別的石頭，不過我們應該是到了針及站在桌子上。至於監獄我就找不到。但以我來看，整個地區雖然很美麗但地形也頗險要，若是遇上天氣突然變壞或黑夜裡不小心被困在山上，那整個地區就會變成一個大監獄！Apart from amazing landscapes, the Isle of Skye boasts three one star Michelin star restaurants and an abundance of fresh seafood.
Sconser Scallops are famous hand dived scallops farmed in the local lochs. They are also called twice dived scallops. The first dive is when they are moved from the deeper waters in the lochs and to shallow waters when they’re about 2 to 3 years old. Apparently the plankton in the shallow waters are thicker which helps to enhance the scallop’s flavour and meat. The second dive is of course when they are harvested, and we bought a dozen that were freshly dived that morning. So from loch to mouth in less than 12 hours. Buying fresh scallops live in the shell meant we had to shuck them ourselves but that wasn’t too difficult. In fact, the scallops were so fresh that even after we had shucked and cleaned them, they still moved when I nudged them with a knife, not dissimiliar to an external heartbeat movement that I’ve seen in documentary programmes! We had our scallops three ways. Raw sashimi style, grilled and pan fried. I think the raw ones, straight, were definitely the best! You may notice that two shells in the photo below doesn’t have a scallop, that’s because we were so eager to taste them once they were shucked. That is how good they were.
我們找到一位在地著名的漁夫，他在湖裡養殖帶子多年，而他的出品也被稱為雙潛帶子。帶子約兩，三年大時漁夫會第一次潛入湖裡把帶子從深水處搬放到淺水處。因為淺水處有較多浮游生物可助帶子生長，令到其肉質豐厚及味道更加鮮美。而第二次潛水時當然是打撈帶子品嚐噢！我們早上打電話去預訂十二顆帶子，漁夫就在當天潛水打撈。從打撈到我們晚上吃不足十二小時，簡直新鮮極了。買新鮮連殼帶子需要花點功夫自己清理，幸好那也不太困難。打開殼清理完畢後，我用刀子輕輕去碰帶子時牠還在微微跳動，有點像電視紀錄片看見體外心臟跳動一樣！吃了那麼多年新鮮帶子，也沒見過噢！帶子一味三吃。有日式剌身，烤焗及鍋煎。三吃之中，我覺得日式剌身最鮮美。你看照片中有兩隻沒有帶子的殼，是因為我們整理完畢後巳急不及待把它切成剌身試吃。Before leaving the Isle of Skye we sat down for a proper lunch at one of the three Michelin star restaurants – Kinloch Lodge. We were the only diners there for lunch so we had the full attentive but non intrusive service from the staff. The entire dining room was immaculately set up as you would expect from a fine dining establishment, and the food not only looked delicious but tasted even better. Having been on the road and living a bit on the rough for ten days already, this was a really nice change to experience something luxury and comforting.
Our luxury meal marked the end of our three night stay on the Isle of Skye, and time to head back to the mainland via the Skye Bridge. Next time, I will take you to Loch Ness, a Scottish whisky tour and Edinburgh.