Thursday, 23 August 2012

Dinner by the Docks

Sitting by the dock. Eating fish and chips. Watching the sunset. Bliss!

In its heyday, the Kyle of Lochalsh had been abuzz with tourists staying overnight for the next day trip to the spectacular Isle of Skye. After the controversial bridge linking the island to the rest of Scotland, the visitors skipped the town and what is left felt like a bleak little town gloating on its former glory. 

This impression might seem rather harsh and is largely owing to the two uneventful nights we have spent in the Kyle Hotel, a run-down building that has definitely seen better days. From the dull white exterior which looks like it hasn't had the service of a decent architect, the inside wasn't much to look at either. The long, dark and tight hallways would remind you of Asian horror flicks. The thin strips of walls would wake you up in the middle of the night to the voices of drunken Americans stumbling their way to their rooms next door. The rooms themselves were small and dingy, the sort of place where you couldn't wait to get out of. But for all your woes, they charged more than the lovely bed and breakfasts in Edinburgh. 

We have never met any locals, not on the street and not even on the hotel where we were served by nervous looking young women from other parts of Europe wearing all black and would jump at the orders being barked from the other side of the kitchen doors. But these people smiled and offered a good service at least, making it easier to gobble the greasiest English breakfast we've ever tasted. 

No, I wouldn't say the Kyle of Lochalsh is a romantic place. But one evening in May, after a long day of travelling half-way through Scotland, we had dinner by the docks. Eating our humble fish and chips from a take away (owned by an Aussie), we watched the sun as it was about to set at half-past ten in the evening while the pigeons hovered around us, waiting for their leftovers. 

I live for special moments like this. 

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