Over the Sea to Skye

I learned an important lesson about myself when we got to the ferry in Mallaig.

Back in the hotel in Glenfinnan, we were relieved to see that the ferry had opened back up for the day. Though the skies had mostly cleared of rain, there were still dubious dark clouds and some strong wind. Not perfect conditions, but if they closed the ferry for anything less than sunshine, I imagine it wouldn’t run at all.

We eagerly boarded the two-tiered Caledonian ship. There was a bar available upstairs and while we chose to sit inside, there were plenty of people leaning on the rails as we prepared to take leave of the main land.

The boat left port and approximately 5 minutes later, it came to me.

I get seasick.

I did my best at first to be stoic about it. To ignore the clenching nausea of my stomach and aching head until it went away.

It did not go away.


Not the most inviting stretch of water.

Noticing my declining pallor, Zach pulled me outside for fresh air. At least outside of the cabin, I could watch my surroundings as they dipped and swooped. With the rail and Zach to hold on to and the crisp, salty air grounding me to the vessel, I felt that I would make it.

It was still the longest 30 minutes of my life.


Accessing Skye:

There are multiple ways to get to the Isle of Skye from the mainland, what with it being the most well-known of the Inner Hebrides.

You can take the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale with Caledonian MacBrayne, a company that monopolizes transportation of cargo, vehicles and people across the sea to the Isles. There are other lesser known ferry services and aircraft options, but as a local version of the Pslams quips:

The Earth belongs unto the Lord
And all that it contains
Except the Kyles and Western Isles
And they are all MacBrayne’s

It makes sense why considering it is convenient and inexpensive to go with them at roughly £20 for a vehicle and £6 per person.

The other option is to simply drive further north up the coast to Kyle of Lochalsh and take the Skye Bridge five hundred meters across to the town of Kyleakin on the island.

There is no toll (huge controversy there if you have time to kill and care to google ‘skye bridge kyle of lochalsh’), so if you have a vehicle and would rather not test your stomach’s luck on the open water, I recommend giving the bridge a try.


On the other side of that ferry, Armadale is a little more than a couple B&Bs, the Clan Donald Museum (great tea and coffee), and a bus stop.

It didn’t take long to finish wandering about before we sat to wait at the bus stop opposite the ferry terminal, scrutinizing the length of ocean we had just traversed.


Next stop: Portree.



Here are a couple of useful maps of Skye I utilized. One contains a list of things to see on the island and the other shows the main bus routes in green.


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