Faerie Hunting: Scotland Style

faerie glenSaturday morning started the hump day of our tour; but it was the best day yet. We’d conquered the bus-sickness of day one and were yet to face the long drive back to Edinburgh of day three. Not only that, we’d been promised a full day of faerie hunting across the Isle of Skye.

We reached the Faerie Pools at Glen Brittle around mid-morning. The guide did a superb 15 million point turn in the coach to park up in the visitor car park. As soon as were were off the bus and into the wind, all 13 of us began the walk up the valley. We spent about an hour and a half wandering alongside the river Brittle and admiring the crystalline pools. The sun sneaking over the Black Cuillins added to the atmosphere. Myself and another couple of the Trip Photographers took quite a while to get to the top of the pools. Couldn’t help stopping for photos.

In Scotland, rather like Ireland, faerie stories were used to explain people disappearing. Tiernan says that if you fall asleep under a faerie tree, the faeries will take you away. Our guide told us a lot of similar stories during our faerie hunting day. Once we’d reached the end of our outward journey up the faerie pools walk, the guide stopped us to tell a local tale about a local clan chieftain whose baby son was stolen by the faeries and taken back to their world (I’m in two minds about typing it out – all the guide’s stories were really long!). Places like the faerie pools represent the points in the world when the faerie world meets ours.  When you see those bright greens and blues, the purple of the heather, and the way the sun streams over the mountains, you can understand why they Scots consider these places to be magical.

We made a few other stops during the day (saving them for tomorrow) but we bookended the second day with another great Faerie-themed stop. The Faerie Glen near Uig is a really beautiful, strange and wonderful place. There was at least one other bus load of tourists at the glen when we arrived, but it didn’t distract from the feel of the place. A certain ‘heebee-geebees’ feeling as our travel companion, Claire, put it. Nevertheless it was a beautiful stop for the sunset.

Everyone on tour seemed to get a little silly here. It must have been the feel of the place. Brigette started ‘Sun Yoga’ and soon a small knot of girls had joined it. We well exceeded our allotted time here, and it was well worth it even if we did threaten the driver’s tachograph card. It was all under control, however, and we got the driver back to Kyleakin in plenty of time, with music blearing out of the speakers above our heads and several people dancing in the bus aisle.

 

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