We left Orkney on the ferry today and headed down the famous north coast of Scotland. Or departure point was the village of Stromness which is quaint and very much looks like it should be a location for a Disney movie. We traveled most of the day making stops along the way to see more of the north country and were rewarded with breathtaking views, Scottish myths and a beautiful beach.
We visited Smoo Cave which is believed to have been a Stone Ager home more than 5000 years ago with Norse settlers later gathering here. It is a large combined freshwater-seawater cave in Durness in Sutherland, Highland, Scotland. According to a piece written in The Scotsman legend has it that Donald MacKay (pronounced Ma-Kai), also known as the Wizard of Reay, met with the Devil himself and was invited too study at the notorious Black School at Padua. The devil demanded that the last student out the door should be left as a sacrifice to him. MacKay was the unlucky one left behind and shouted to the devil that he would leave his shadow behind. The devill seized the apprentice’s shadow but realized he’d been tricked. Then shadowless MzcKay was pursued by the devil and when he went to explore Smoo Cave the devil caught wind of his plans and and sneaked in first laying in wait. MacKay’s dog warned him about his fate and he held back waiting for the light of day when the devil was left powerless and forced to create holes into the roof of the cave so he could flee with his three witch sidekicks. If one looks at the ceiling of the cave one can see the impression of the devil complete with horns – use your imagination when looking at the picture!
After Smoo Cave it was on along the coast and finally into Ullapool where we are spending the night. The dramatic hills and mountains with the gorse in full bloom was astonishing. Tomorrow we will head back to Edinburgh and the adventure will come to an end.