Leaving Skye - Glenelg ferry
A Greek island, perhaps? Rocky shores, crystal azure water, sunhat and sandals - where else could it be but Skye. On our return to the mainland we crossed by the Kylerhea to Glenelg ferry, which goes between the narrow strait between the island and the mainland. The road bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh has replaced the romance of going over the sea to Skye at the main crossing point (and the queues of traffic), but there are still ferries at Glenelg and at Armadale in the south of the island. The Glenelg ferry is a community enterprise, and is the last manually operated turntable ferry on the west coast. (The two girls are mine - my daughter and her French friend. The hat, sandals and dog belong to someone else.)
The road to the ferry is spectacular, with a series of single-track switchbacks. First of all there are vistas of the island you're leaving.
Then the mainland of Scotland appears across the water.
The ferry makes the crossing every 20 minutes or so. We waited in a 'queue' of 4 cars, watching the loading on the other side of the water.
I have no photos from our own crossing. It's a very friendly ferry, and I was engaged in conversation by a German tourist who related his family's wonderful time on Skye, complete with golden eagle spotting, and then their plans for a dash to Orkney.
There's a small-scale lighthouse on either side of the water, in close-up below, and just discernible in the following shot of the turntable being manually turned.
Every ferry should have its attendant dog, who either comes along for the ride:
Or keeps a lookout from the shore.
If you cross before 4pm you can prepare for the next section of switchback single track road by having tea in the village hall at Glenelg. We were just too late, but having taken the ferry once I'd want to cross to Skye this way again, and hopefully include a scone or pancake at the village hall.
And if you'd like to see more of the Glenelg ferry, there's a blog (of course) about this national treasure.