So here we are in Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis.
BEST. DAY. EVER!!
Earlier in the day, we got up early to ensure our place in the car line for the ferry.
But first—breakfast. Traditional Scottish one—OJ, coffee (big, BIG yay!), sausage, toast, bacon, egg, and my first-ever black pudding. Interesting taste, but I’m pretty sure I won’t knowingly eat it again. Not my thing. Paul liked it though.
We spent an hour or so taking pictures around town while waiting for the ferry. I could hardly believe I was doing this! Finally, after so many years, I was getting to go to the Isle of Lewis. It was still a crapshoot as to whether we’d actually find Dun Eistean itself. But we were going to do our best to do so.
The ferry was a little late, but not all that much. We drove on with no problems and found a seat in one of the Passenger Lounges.
After we got out of the bay and were making the crossing, the scenery got pretty mundane. Islands that looked like someone had taken the east hills of my old home area, San Jose, and had dumped them in the water. Not all that interesting.
We had some coffee,
then went up to the (outside) top deck for a bit.
Not a lot to check out (“What? No shuffleboard?”), so we went back in fairly quickly. I read and Paul sort of dozed until Lewis came into sight.
Finally we were docked and back in the car. We tried to find Port Nis on the GPS, but it had no idea what we were talking about (what a surprise…). So Paul entered the next town, Sgiogarstaigh (no idea how to pronounce it), and it knew where that was. Go figure.
Okay, seriously, nice Scottish people…Those roads—they really need work. The skateboard thing again. At least there were no rock walls to bounce against.
The wider, 60mph roads though—I could tell Paul was enjoying that.
We had no trouble finding Sgiogarstaigh, but were at a loss after that. Fortunately we spotted a man working in his yard, and were able to ask directions. He spoke the language in a dialect close enough to our understanding to make us realize that we were too far east.
With his help, we found Port Nis with no more problems.
And we drove along until…okay…there’s a sign that says Dun Eistean on it…
Wait! We turn…there??
Up a steep, narrow, unpaved stone road, which seemed at first glance to be someone’s idea of a joke.
Came to a closed gate.
Really? All this way, all those years of wishing…
Oh—that tower over there. Looks sort of like the one on the family crest. But…
Well, there’s no lock on the gate, and the sign points this way.
I got out of the car, opened the gate (with some difficulty), and we drove through. (Yes, I closed it after us.) More rocky road, but thankfully it had leveled out by now.
Just around a turn, and – there’s the lighthouse in the distance! Offshore, some very familiar rock formations.
And best of all—the footbridge, just peeking over a hill in the near distance.
And another gate. This time I didn’t think twice.
I’m a Morrison, and these are my roots. Outta my way, gate!
At the end of the road was a nice little car park and a couple of informational signs. We took pictures of all that…
…then I walked across the footbridge and stepped onto the land of my ancestors.
Incredible. That’s all.
My sister had been here quite a few years ago, and it was windy and raining then. This day it was warm, sunny, and the wind was reasonable. We were so blessed.
I got up to the top of the tower foundations and sat down. And I could have stayed there forever.
(An overturned couch and a few empty bottles – seemed appropriate…ha!)
But—time waits for no one, and we still had to check in to our lodgings for the night.
No problem finding it—we got our stuff inside, then went to find drinks and dinner.
No beer for me tonight. I had a wee dram of Capt. Morgan’s rum at the pub we stopped at, then a Long island iced tea at dinner.
Oh, you know that Jack and Coke in a can? Found it in a store. Got it. Drank it. Pretty darn good.