Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Travel Tuesday's - Stone Circles of Scotland

I have either been fortunate enough to experience the places I have, or I have been stupid enough to pay little to no attention to the state of my bank account. This results in me thinking its perfectly okay to take off to a foreign country or a city I have not stepped foot in yet. Depending on the day, I have differing opinions on my travels. Don't get me wrong, they are all good. I regret none of them. Though, my dwindling bank account does cause for some nerves.

During whirlwinds of not enough sleep, too much drinking, too much caffeine, and lots of laughter, I started down this journey of wanderlust. I slept in beds that were more like pallets and drank wine on the rooftops of Rome. I stood on the top of the Eiffel Tower at midnight and got caught in the Scottish rain. When thinking back on the things I have seen it feels a little surreal. As I try to recall moments and memories, I see it as more of a story. It was something that happened to somebody else. The girl who gets on these planes is someone different than I am now.

Nostalgia done! Fin!

It is Travel Tuesday! I don't use exclamation marks causally so you know to take me serious when you see one. 

In a little out of the way field on the outskirts of Scotland, I stepped foot inside my first stone circle, or, as my Irish whimsy demands, a fairy circle. While others that I had joined up with during these days were off canoeing, a few of us decided to take off and explore the country side. As we wound our way up a gravel path, lined with trees that were reaching towards the cloudy and gray heavens, we stumbled upon an open field with stones scattered about. As we approached it became apparent that this was one of the stone circles that is so prolific in the British Isle's. We had seen Stonehenge by now but there was something about this little circle here that gave us more pause. Maybe it was because no one was around or maybe it was because it wasn't fenced off from tourists.

We made our way towards it, our clothes becoming soaked with the dew and rain that comes hand in hand with this country. Being who I am, my creative brain took hold and as we trudged through the wet grass, I began weaving the tales of fairy circles. It is said you shouldn't go in one without being invited. Fairies, after all, are mischievous little creatures that are bound to attack if you piss them off. Or so I've been told. I told my companions how you should never step inside a stone circle or else you can expect dire consequences. Then, ignoring my own advice, I jumped right in. And when I say jumped, I do mean that I ran towards the circle itself and jumped inside. I hugged these rocks. I crossed in and out of the circle itself. I danced in honor of the small little girl I was was.

The next day, I fell and busted open my knee and came down with the flu.

Lesson learned.

Before the temperature though and before I walked with a limp for a good couple of days, a man who had been near the circle began spinning the legend that apparently surrounds these stones. It was said that if the stones themselves were counted, you'd never get the same number twice. It was like a thought bubble appeared in all of our heads at once. Challenge accepted, sir!

We counted those rocks numerous times and it wasn't until our seventh or eighth try that we got a consisted number. 49. There are 49 rocks there. Believe me, our brains hurt from the amount of times we double checked that.

I'm interested to go back one day and see if that number still holds . I like to imagine that the little old man is still there, having not aged a day, telling all the people who stumble upon this circle the legend of the stone numbers. He probably laughs as girls like me tempt fate and jump inside the circle without heeding any sort of warning. And while my knee still hurts a bit from that fall, it is one of my fondest memories. I should have known better than to mess with the Scottish fairies. Them Scot's don't like us Irish that much.

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