Today we made a visit to Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides. The M/S Endeavor anchored in Loch Dunvegan which provides a beautiful landscape formed by the Tertiary volcanic rocks which comprise the entire island. We then took our Zodiacs to the castle. Dunvegan Castle is the seat of Clan McCleod, which has occupied it continuously since 1200. This is the longest continuous occupation of any castle in Britain by the same family. The castle displays a wonderful array of furnishings and artwork. Additionally, since the McCleods of Skye owned the remote island of St. Kilda that we expect to visit tomorrow, we enjoyed the photographic display of the history of that island.

The McCleods were a major Clan that controlled a large portion of the Hebrides. Their "Fairy Flag" given, legend has it, by a fairy queen to the wife of an early McCleod chieftain, is on display in the castle. The flag is said to have magical powers that can be summoned for the aid of the Clan whose motto is "Hold Fast." These powers have been invoked twice in the past 800 years. Also on display is the drinking horn of the 13th century chieftain of the McLeods. It holds two bottles of claret, which the Chieftain is said to have drained in a single draught.

The Castle is surrounded by extensive gardens on one side and the Loch on the other and the green mountains of Skye provide a beautiful backdrop to the setting.