There was a strong storm brewing. I could feel it in the chilly wind that tried to claw its way under my sweater, and the lowering skies that blocked out the sun. My traveling companions had all bailed out – tired or not feeling well, they had either stayed at the B&B or were out exploring elsewhere. I was determined to find the Fairy Glen.
We were halfway through a three week trip through the highlands and the islands of Scotland, in June 2008. The six of us (my parents, my husband and I, and my two girlfriends) were now on the Isle of Skye, enjoying four nights at the Lodge at Edinbane, a lovely old haunted hunting lodge. I was off on my one in one of the two rented cars, exploring areas near Uig, as our hostess had told me how to find the legendary Fairy Glen.
I found the turn she described – not signposted or marked in any way – and followed this narrow winding, barely one-lane ‘road’ up, up and up… past a couple rambling farms, and into an odd little place with perfectly conical hills on either side of that road. After a couple more turns, I came to a bit of a clearing – still surrounded by those odd hills – with trees growing sideways, seeming to caress the ground with their spindly branches. A lone foxglove grew where one touched the ground, as if they were tender lovers, frozen by the approach of a human.
I parked the car and started to climb up the path that led to the hill beyond the clearing. The grass was thick and somewhat mushy from all the rain that had been falling, but I sallied forth, and climbed. The rocks were mossy under the growth, but sometimes jutted out, stark white bones against the verdant cloak. I reached the top, and came to a bowl of grass, with rocks towering up on three corners around it.
People had evidently been here for years, arranging the stark white rocks into shapes. There were hearts on the ground, arrows, circles, and cairns at various places. That’s when I noticed that the storm was about to arrive – dark, gloomy clouds began to gather closer, and I realized that the trip down the hill might be a bit treacherous, even without more rain.
I carefully made my way back down, though not without several slips and slides, one of which made sitting down a bit tender for a while. I made it back to my car just in time, as the rain started drip dropping on my car. I had found it, but I wished I had more time to enjoy it. I would be back.
As always your experience, suggestions and questions are enjoyed. Happy Fairytale Travels!
Christy Nicholas is the Author of Ireland: Mythical, Magical, Mystical; A Guide to Hidden Ireland
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