Once upon a time, many, many years ago, a beautiful bride was riding her horse on the way to her wedding. She was betrothed to the most handsome man in the kingdom. As she crossed this very bridge over this very river, she was daydreaming about her striking groom, unaware that danger lay ahead. Suddenly her horse got spooked! She was thrown from its back, off of the bridge and into the river, where she smashed her face into its rocky bed. Her groom came to find her and, upon seeing that the rocks had made her face deformed and ugly, he declared that he could never marry such a hideous woman and left her once and for all, alone and crying on the banks of the river.
Before long, the river faeries appeared to her. They told her that if she held her face under the water for ten seconds, they would not only heal her scars but would make her eternally beautiful. With nothing left to lose, the woman did as they said, and the magic restored her beauty. The woman ended up marrying a man whose beauty matched hers both inside and out, and she was eternally beautiful just as the faeries said. Legend has it that visitors to this river must do the same in order to please the faeries and keep their own beauty.
This is a tale that my tour guide told me during my trip to the Scottish highlands. As you can see from the photos I included, we actually did put our faces into the freezing (but very refreshing) water. I managed to write that entire story in my journal but completely forgot to note where we were or what the river was called! If anyone has any guesses please feel free to send them my way 🙂