The “study” portion of my study-abroad has officially begun. For some (probably 500-year old) reason, the University of Edinburgh doesn’t start the fall semester until about a month after American universities. I’m not complaining. In the meantime, I’ve been traipsing about Scotland, particularly the islands. The above photo comes from a day-trip to Fingal’s Cave on the Isle of Staffa within the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. If you like classical music, the acoustics of the cavern overawed the 19th-century composer Felix Mendelssohn so much that he wrote the “Hebrides Overture” as a tribute. (Maybe we could get a “Barton Springs Concerto” or something?) There’s also a very interesting explanation of the geology, involving multiple layers of cooling lava and fracturing and basalt formations and…here’s another picture.
Unfortunately, there was no study abroad option for Middle-Earth. However, the Isle of Skye (also within the Inner Hebrides) where I took the above picture, comes pretty close. If anyone’s familiar with the television show “Outlander,” the theme song “set sail o’er sea to Skye” refers to this island; Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped to this island after his disastrous Scottish Jacobite rebellion against the British Hanover dynasty in 1745. It’s a quite complicated and tragic story, so here’s a photo of a waterfall.
And to whoever’s moderating this blog, I was very careful and stayed behind the guardrail. For more photos of islands, old churches, and random cliffs, follow me on Instagram @joemorgancurrie