July 1, 2016

Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye

Since we are leaving Skye tomorrow to drive to St. Andrew's, I had hoped to do another big hike today.  However, Erwin confessed he was stressed about the long drive, due to some car trouble we'd had on the drive from Edinburgh, and was hoping today could be mellower, more laidback.  So we lollygagged around in Portree a bit in the morning, enjoying another delicious breakfast at the cozy Cafe Arriba and poking into some shops before setting out for the Fairy Glen, which had been on our radar all along as a place we wanted to visit.  I am so glad we didn't miss out!

It is somewhat remote, located along a narrow one lane road between Uig and Balnaknock.  There are no signs or trailheads, but the Castle Ewen rock formation and surrounding conical hillocks are readily identifiable and visible from some distance away.  A few small pullovers in the midst of the distinctive and dramatic landscape provide parking space enough for a few vehicles. 

The area is riddled with narrow foot trails winding along the little lochan, through the tall bracken and dense hazel groves, up over ridges.  The prominent outcrop of Castle Ewen is ever visible, making it impossible to become disoriented.  Sheep keep the grass shorn low, and the whole area is an impossibly vibrant green.  Visitors have arranged rocks in spirals at the base of Castle Ewen, with piles of offerings in the center, presumably for the fairies.  Frankie was thrilled to loop through the biggest spiral, taking great care to stay in his lane and not cross over.  When we climbed up to the top of Castle Ewen, he was delighted to find an enormous puddle, which he focused on with great enthusiasm, giving a feather a bath.  And he loved the tiny little hazel trees!

Although it's not really much of a hike, the Fairy Glen is an amazing place to explore.  

photo by Erwin

photo by Erwin

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