Puffin Rock

We’ve been unbelievably lucky with the weather on this trip. I haven’t (and won’t) use fully half of the clothing I packed, and have spent far more days in shorts, a T-shirt and sandals than I ever expected. No day better illustrates the luck we’ve had than today.

Our plan was to take a six-hour boat excursion through the islands. Imagine a country with a reputation for rainy, gloomy and cold weather, and then picture yourself on a boat off the coast of such a country. We have creative imaginations, so we expected (and planned for) the worst. Here’s what we got instead:

Sunny, warm, absolutely glassy, flat water. Are we truly in Scotland??

Yesterday, we arrived in Tobermory by ferry. This morning, we left again by boat, this time on a tour bound for the Treshnish Isles of Staffa and Lunga. On the former, our goal was Fingal’s Cave, a geological wonder of basalt made famous by composer Felix Mendelssohn, who wrote an overture inspired by the cave.

The real show, however, was on the island of Lunga: puffins! Iceland is also known for puffins, but when we went there two years ago, the only one we saw had gone off to join the choir invisible long before we encountered it. Today, we saw more puffins than one could ever hope for.

And Lunga was more than just a real-life Puffin Rock: the island was home to countless other species of sea birds, the names of which I can’t even begin to tell you. National Geographic could easily film a program here. Turn up your speakers for this video clip:

Back on dry land, we explored more of Tobermory.

“Picturesque” is an understatement.

Pints and pies: a recurring theme.

Yes, we’re on island time here.

Today we also got a sneak peek at what tomorrow holds in store for us. I’ll give you the same sneak peek, but you’ll have to wait till tomorrow for more details.

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