Thursday, 18 May 2017

Castle swim

Eilen Donan Castle is on elf the most photographed buildings in Scotland. And it is easy to see why. The old castle, on a loch, hills around and there is only one stone bridge to enter it. Only one bridge ... or is there a swimming option?

Of course there is no official swimming option, but that is just the thing I see, when I stand on the side of a loch. 
We arrived late in the small village of Dornie and the castle stood proud and illuminated in the night.  After dinner in the local pub we walked to our B&B, which was located across a small bridge in the village of Ardelve. Standing on the bridge at night made me think about a small swim to cross the waterway between Loch Long and Loch Duich. 
The next morning our friendly B&B host heard about my plan, said that it was possible, but also warned me of a current which changes depending on the tide. Loch Long is connected to Loch Duich and Loch Alsh, which goes to the sea on the Scottish west Coast. I wanted at least to go in the water and give it a try. My friends dropped me off at the bridge and drove on to visit the castle. 
It wasn't the nicest weather but it gave the crossing towards the castle an even more dramatic effect. 
I swam towards the castle and stopped after a third to make some photos. That's where I noticed the mentioned current. It was going out so it carried me southbound towards the caste. What a nice floating experience! 
The light southbound current was nice, but you have to make sure to cross the waterway before the current carries you to far into the next loch. It wasn't that strong and I kept on swimming towards  the castle and around it. 
From the water I could see my friends waiting for me. 

And they took a picture from the other point of view
I flooded around some more, enjoying the view and the looks of the tourist and decided then to look for a good point to exit. Not having paid the entrance fee to the castle, I swam towards the carpark. That was rather muddy and swampy in the end. Wearing a wetsuit I felt like an alien climbing up to the carpark with all the "normal" people... 

Eilen Donan Castle, Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh IV40 8DX, Vereinigtes K├Ânigreich

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