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Anyone for magic, myths, fairies and legends!
Rating :

Isle of Skye
October 25, 2003

Pros: Incredible views and magical stories
Cons: The bridge

The next day after a crazy night in Inverness complete with monster hunting of all sorts, I headed off on the Jump-on Jump-off bus, heading to the Isle of Skye, said to be the most magical of all the Scottish Islands, complete with fairies, myths, legends and tall tales! The only disappointing thing about the Isle of Skye, is that it really is no longer an island as the government has put a bridge from the mainland to the Island, despite the locals angry words and protests. However, once you get past the bridge it truly lives up to its magical reputation! On the first afternoon, I headed out for a forest walk through at the base of the Red and Black Cuillan mountain range, however, the ground was very marshy and I was sinking. So I decided to turn back, however, not before discovering the ancient ruins of Castle Moil. This castle is perched on top of a hill overlooking the sea and has some incredible views. The tale goes that there was a Norwegian Princess who lived there and became very bored, so as to entertain herself she would stand at the window facing the sea and reveal her breasts, however she was not alone, as all the fisherman below took in the view, there fore nicknaming her Saucy Mary. Legend has it, that if a young single woman wanders up to the castle stands at that same window and bares her breasts that she will find true love within a year. I’m sure you all are thinking that I certainly did do that, but you are mistaken, that was one legend I didn’t partake in, mostly because my health was in a state as it was, the last thing I needed was a chest cold! The following day, I took a day tour, which may have been the best day tour I have ever been on in my life. The guide was so passionate about the Isle, as she grew up there and she knew every tale and legend going, accompanied by the most powerful story telling abilities! The day started with entering the Cuillens and taking in the last of the purple heather before the snow. Then off to the Fairy waterfall, where she made us all stick our faces in the water for good luck as she didn’t want anything to go wrong on our tour! Shortly after we headed into Portree, which is where most travellers stay, as there are basic amenities and lots of B&B’s there. We stopped for a quick drink, a glance at the King’s Harbour and to stock up on food supplies before our big hike up the Quiraing! This was an incredible hike and the views could be seen for miles. The sky was clear and the sheep were in full force all around us. Once we reached a peak, the wind was howling about us, and therefore we ate out lunches quickly and then made our way down, but the 360 degree view was amazing, blue sea as far as the eye could see, then off to the right the sun reflecting black and red off the Cuillens, with rolling green hills down in the valley speckled with purple heather. Back on the bus continuing on to the Clan MacDonald Castle ruins, where legend has it, if you go into the dungeon, you can hear the faint howling of its prisoners. So of course I headed in and sure enough I heard the sound…or perhaps it was the wind through the very small window. Our next and final stop was in the Fairy Glen. This was the most interesting place as it was miniature. Truly, although it is hard to believe unless you see, but once you enter, the trees are smaller, the hills are smaller, even the loch is miniature. There is a castle ruins, that appears very small and is very overgrown with grass, and one can walk up to the top. Now the tale told about this area is that if you need help, are in despair, want someone to fall in love, want some one to be hurt, seek revenge whatever, you come to the fairy glen, and leave an offering, money, food, jewellery, as well as a picture or something representing you. The offering is left in one particular area, underneath a rock or a collection of rocks, and once you leave the glen, the fairies will collect your offering and if it is worthy of your request, your wish will be granted. Further to that, if you come to the glen and take something that doesn’t belong to you, the fairies will haunt you until you return whatever you took. I was not willing to test that theory and simply took a few pictures, then lift the area well enough alone, all though I must say, it definitely felt as though magic was present!