Ferry Ride! or How I learned the ferry was faster than driving to the Isle of Skye

It was officially time for us to leave Skye, one of the most beautifully stunning islands on the planet, likely never to return despite our hopes otherwise. And since we drove on to the island, it seemed fitting for us to drive off as well…

… and onto a ferry boat.

Since we were staying close to the Armadale ferry terminal, it was super easy for us to check out early and be the first car in the queue for the morning ferry from Armadale to Mallaig.

Also, plenty of time for photos from the pier.

We sorted out our passage from the ticket office and explored the shops around the terminal.  You have to check in your car at least 20 minutes before sailing, so you’ll have time.

One way tickets for the ferry cost £9.40 for your car, £2.80 each for driver and passenger. Children are less, so check the Caledonian MacBrayne website (opens in a new tab) for more price info.

We also had loads of time to document the arrival of the first ferry from Mallaig.

Can I let you in on a secret? I think that I, like most people, consider oneself to be pretty well put together. I love travel, a really good meal, writing (of course), and I work in media which means I get to work in really fancy offices with exposed beams and glass walls, wearing high heels and being collaborative with creative people. It’s pretty cool. Some might even say that I am pretty cool.

Except when it comes to a few things. Airplanes. What is it about airplanes? I kind of geek out a bit whenever I drive down Vista Del Mar along Dockweiler Beach and the planes taking off from LAX scream overhead. Don’t even get me started about space shuttles. One day I may share my Endeavor photos with you. And aquariums. I turn into an 11 year old girl when faced with penguins and tropical fishtank lined hallways.

It seems I have a new thing to squee over. Ferry boats.

In my attempt to document our trip on the Caledonian MacBrayne Armadale to Mallaig Ferry, I took some pics and even a little video.

Lucky you!

I know many readers may not find this as fun as I do. But I currently live in Los Angeles. Sure, we have a lot of cars. Many, many lanes on the freeway. But one thing we don’t have are a lot of islands to take our cars on ferries to. And I must say there is something kind of satisfying about driving onto a boat. Or rather, being the passenger documenting driving onto a boat.

But first, the door.

Yep. It’s big, it’s green and it makes a lot of noise. I tried to get some video but it wasn’t very good. And by this point we’d given up on our time lapse camera. It worked once, so why jinx it?

So you drive in. You stop. You stay in your vehicles until they tell you to get out. It’s pretty simple.

Like all good ferry boat riders we went upstairs to see what we could see and watch the world go by, leaving our little hired motor keeping an eye on the green door.

Even though our last night on the Isle of Skye may have lacked a certain joie de vivre (i.e. sleep) I was really sad to see the shores of Sleat growing smaller by the minute.

Past the early morning calm waters of the loch you could see the Isle of Eigg, one of the Small Isles of the Inner Hebrides.

Eigg generates 100% of its own electricity, did you know that? I didn’t. It’s had quite the checkered history, that little island, with clan feuds, massacres and revenge, the perfect subject for a movie plot. Now it serves as a delightful stop on the CalMac Small Isles ferry route.

The ferry ride takes 30 minutes from Armadale to Mallaig, just enough time for a cup of tea whilst watching the sea birds fly by. Before you know it you’re back downstairs with your car, waiting for the door to come down.

And, maybe if you’re lucky, you have somewhere else in Scotland to be that afternoon.

Where would you go, if you had nowhere to be but here?

One thought on “Ferry Ride! or How I learned the ferry was faster than driving to the Isle of Skye

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