Scotch-Irish Cruise Journal—Day 8

Eilean Donan Castle

This morning our ship anchored in the bay at Portree on the Isle of Skye.

Skye is an island of breathtaking beauty.

It is part of the Inner Hebrides islands off the west coast of Scotland.

St. Columba (521 A.D. – 597 A.D.) first brought the Gospel here in the 6th century when, using an interpreter, he led a local pagan leader to the Lord.

The stone upon which he stood when he preached is still here at a place called St. Columba’s Isle.

The weather was horrible today—rainy and cold—but we still made it into town in the morning to look around and do some shopping.

In the afternoon, we took a bus trip to Eilean Donan Castle, probably the most photographed castle in the world. Eilean Donan is named after Donan of Eigg, an Irish monk who came to Skye as a missionary to reach the Picts with the Gospel. In the process he established a cell of monks on a small island at Eilean Donan and may have built a church where the castle now stands.

Then on April 17, 617 A.D., while attempting to establish a monastery at Eigg, he and 50 other monks were martyred. The stories vary as to why, but the bottom line is they paid with their lives the cost of following Jesus, and sharing the Gospel, and that makes Donan and his fellow monks Kingdom heroes.

By the time we arrived back at the pier, we were still wet and cold. I suggested we find a local pub where we could warm up and dry off. Everyone was on board, so I asked our tour guide where we could find a local pub with some character and a peat fire. He said we wouldn’t find a peat fire in town but there was just such pub on the pier down the street.

The rest of the group was not part of the conversation but I waved them along and told them what we were looking for was just down the street. Ann walked into the pub first, and as soon as she opened the door and I saw inside, I realized our tour guide had misunderstood me. He apparently thought we were looking for a pub with characters not character because this pub had plenty of the former and none of the latter.

Just as I recognized this miscommunication, Ann blurted out so all in the pub could hear, “Where’s the peat fire?” In response, all the surley looking blokes at the bar turned in unison to look at Ann. Immediately I said, “Ann, let’s get out of here.”

If you are wondering how this story ended, we did eventually find a pub with some character, a few characters, and a sufficient amount of local beer, after which we headed back to the tender and back to the ship. GS

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