FAIRY GLEN The Fairy Glen was the first stop of our first full day on the Isle of Skye, and what a way to kick off a vacation. This natural wonder is a perfect spot for easy hiking – only a small bit of effort is necessary for climbing to the top of the hills and you’ll be rewarded with one magnificent view! No fairy sightings when we visited, though, I’m afraid. Perhaps I was too distracted by the brilliant scenery to notice them moving about in the trees and moss in the valleys of the glen. THE QUIRAING A little further north in Trotternish is the Quiraing, an area of sloping landscapes and rugged cliffs with both challenging and gentler terrain for all levels of hikers. I also hear there are some pretty impressive views to be seen here, but thanks to a heavy fog that rolled in as soon as we arrived, I could only see about as far ahead as my hand could reach. We had intended on hiking the 3-mile path that goes around the Quiraing, but not being able to see sort of hindered that plan. Instead, we just walked less than a mile across the hillside where it was still level and laughed at how ever-changing Scotland’s weather is. BEN TIANAVAIG For a great vantage point of Portree and the bay, climbing Ben Tianavaig is a must. This was how we started our second day on Skye and it ended up being my favorite hike on the trip. We didn’t quite reach the top, but we got close. Close enough that this was our view out over the bay to the mountains beyond. I’m a sucker for water and mountains and an open sky, so this hike had everything going for it from the start. The path wasn’t always easy to find, and we accidentally detoured off of it for awhile, finding ourselves climbing sideways and gripping on to prickly brambles to keep from falling, but hey, we still made it! And if we ever make it back to the Isle of Skye, I’m doing it again, hopefully without another brambles incident.
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