Have I said how great my hosts were in Scotland? Probably, but I want to say it again. My long-time friends Alex and Dave have always brought a sense of adventure (misadventure? ha!) to our trips together. I’ve known Dave for just about 10 years now – cannot believe that – and Alex for just a few years shorter than that. They are some of the best people I know. Above Dave is peeking into the Horcrux Cave on Staffa, and below is the quintessential “adventure is out there” pose on a ferry with Shawn.
Continuing the story of the Three Isle Tour, I wanted to post some color! The sky was so breathtakingly blue. We woke up that morning thinking we were going to be both wet and chilled, because you know, Scotland happens, but the weather couldn’t have been better. I think with the water and sky combined, the views we saw that day were some of my favorite views I have EVER seen.
To the left is a small island with an estate/castle (I think) and to the right Alex and Dave are being themselves on the beach of Iona.
Three interesting facts about Mull:
1. Sheep have right of way
2. Bus shelters are really just for sheep
3. Fences aren’t to keep sheep in, but to keep them out
I want to give a shout out to our bus driver through Mull. He was one of the best (and most hilarious) tour guides I have ever experienced. Mull is absolutely beautiful, everything you imagine about the highlands on one small island. There is a history of many a highland squabbles as well, even fake deaths. There’s also a thriving wildlife on Mull including otters (!), eagles, and deer, not to mention (the aforementioned) domestic life of sheep (they’re everywhere), highland cows (coos), and various birds. The above photograph shows the shores on the west side of the island, adjacent to we picked up the boat to Staffa.
So, this tiny island was named by Vikings who thought the rock formations were reminiscent of staffs, thus we have Staffa. Also, get ready for a pop culture reference, Staffa’s character, including Fingal’s Caves, was used in the filming of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, where Dumbledore and Harry… well I won’t spoil it. I know some people do not know the story [you should!]. It was a really bright day when we traveled to the isles, we were really lucky, because… Scotland. Above, you’ll find rocks that seemed to freeze mid-motion, and below the cave’s entrance.
Welcome to Staffa. It is a very small island off the west coast of Scotland. The view above is the top of the island but it has the most beautiful rock formations below the pillow soft grasses… Really, the grass was daring you to nap there and miss the boat, or maybe years could go by like Brigadoon. Volcanic eruption formed the island, and it is home to a large colony of Puffins! Unfortunately they were too busy taking a swim to say hi to us, but I saw one sun bathing seal! Much more on this beautiful island soon…