Jan. 19th, 2012

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After my adventure with the whinstone setts on Monday, I thought I'd dedicate a post to Fingal's Cave, where the whinstone is definitely out to get you, and where life would be perilous indeed, had not some clever soul added some non-slip coating onto the rocks to prevent innocent tourists taking an unscheduled dip in the waters of the North Atlantic...

I'm a big fan of a certain overture by Mendelssohn, so I'd always wanted to make a pilgrimage to the source of his inspiration.  We visited Mull and Iona several years ago, and Staffa was definitely on the itinerary.  I didn't have a recording of the music to accompany me, or I'd have played it.  But I didn't need to worry!  The captain of our little boat decided to play it on the loudspeakers as we approached.  The puffins were probably not amused, but then, maybe they're used to it...

My main motivation was definitely the association with Mendelssohn, but I'm also quite partial to weird geology, and columnar basalt has to be quite high up on the Weird Geological Phenomena Which Must Be Observed list.  So naturally, I took a few photos:-

Staffa doesn't have a monopoly on columnar basalt - the keen-eyed will spot several places on Mull where there are similar outcrops of the stuff, though they're not half as impressive as the Staffa examples:-

And here's a close-up of the whinstone columns, looking deceptively polite and friendly, and not at all treacherous:-

Finally, here's a view inside the cave itself, with water that looks positively tropical.  Believe me, it wasn't - when we went there, it was bloomin' cold!

And tomorrow's Friday, which is a bonus! 

No more slates - for another couple of days, at least.


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