Kyle of Lochalsh, our jumping off point to the Isle of Skye, is pronounced with a hard khhh sound that would fit right in with the blessing of the candles for Hannukah. Hagis is basically kishke (and like kishke is now usually wrapped in wax instead of intestine). So swap out the bagpipes with a klezmer band and you got yourself a destination Bar Mitzvah.
The train to Kyle of Lochalsh offers stunning views. Just two train cars, it runs mostly on a very narrow single track with tree branches frequently scratching across the windows. At certain set junctures either the east or west bound train will pull off the track to allow the other to pass. These passings are negotiated in real time by each train’s respective conductor and driver.
A similar feat is performed when driving the Isle of Skye. Pretty much anything off the main route is a single track road. You immediately brake whenever you see another car coming at you from the opposite direction. At least that is what I did with appreciative locals then beeping their horns in approval. Or yelling at you in Gaelic in what I assumed could only be words of encouragement.
You also drive here on the left side of the road. That’s true even if your an American. And everywhere you drive includes a family of sheep hanging out by the side of the road. Sometimes you see a sheep taking a nap with one hoof dangling ever so slightly onto the road. Or they walk along side of you at a pace only slightly slower than the crawl of your car.
Mostly on the Isle of Skye though you look out to the grass, the mountains and the sky and wish everyone could experience a few days in the Highlands. Then a local yells at you and you resume your drive along the winding, beautiful and way too thin road.