Thursday, 15th June, 2023

Breakfast this morning was provided at our accommodation, Park Lodge Hotel.

Breakfast was both welcome and tasty!

Our adventure for today was a cruise to the islands of Staffa Tours cruise of Staffa and the Treshnish Isles. It departed at 9:45am and returned at 4:15pm. We were lucky enough to spot a Minke Whale (but not quick enough to photograph it). Our first port of call was Staffa. The famous Fingal's Cave is there. The composer Mendelssohn visited there in 1829 and it was reported that the composer immediately jotted down the opening theme for his composition after seeing the island. It's official title is "The Hebrides Overture" but it is better known as "Fingal's Cave". If you don't know it, you can listen here.

The Harbour at Tobermory

On our way!

Staffa Island

Fingal's Cave on the right and Boat Cave on the left

These birds are shags. Perhaps the expression "like a shag on a rock" came from these birds.

The pathway to Fingal's Cave was quite rough and uneven.

There was a handrail to cling to for the steeper parts.

Our next stop was Lunga, the largest of the Treshnish Isles.

Even getting to the shore was a bit of a rock scramble.

After only a short ascent of a rocky, gravelly, steep and sometimes slippery path, we were rewarded with the sight of our first puffins. Note that the one above was caught taking a step!

The path then continued "up" but there were lovely views for compensation.

A pair of razor bills

A shag with its chick.

The mother is feeding its chick.

The chick can be seen in this video too.

A shag (not on a rock this time!)

After another trek up the steep path (no, it's not just me... we saw two people slip over and heard about a third) we were rewarded with this view of thousands of guillemots.

Lunga was inhabited by only a few families until about 150 years ago.

We both really enjoyed the cruise, despite the long hike. When we returned to Tobermory, we visited the Mull Aquarium. This is a "release" aquarium, meaning that all the creatures are caught in the local area, kept for four weeks, and then returned to the place from whence they came.

The aquarium was only small but it was set up well and it was interesting.

By the time we left the aquarium, it was 5:00pm so we decided to try MacGochans, a local pub, for dinner. This was, as all eating places have been in Scotland, a little expensive but quite good.