Sunday, April 19, 2015

Day Four: Isles of Mull, Iona, and Staffa

Day 4 — Isles of Mull, Iona, and Staffa
Board the morning ferry to the Island of Mull, the second largest of the Inner Hebrides. Cross to the west coast and take a boat to the uninhabited isle of Staffa to visit Fingal’s Cave. Spend time capturing images of the wild geology and geometry of the cave and its sea-splashed hexagonal basalt shafts. End the day on Iona, a tiny island off the tip of Mull that has drawn pilgrims since St. Columba established a monastery here in the sixth century. In the late afternoon light, take a photo hike past pristine beaches, an ancient nunnery, and a stunning medieval abbey. (B,L,D)

For this day, Chris drove the van onto the Ferry and then transported all of us to the next Ferry that took us to Fingal's cave and Iona.  The boat trip to Fingal's Cave was very rough.  It made me do a lot of thinking about our ancestors who traveled via ship or even small boat over the centuries.  Could I have done what they did?  I think about crossing the entire Atlantic Ocean in a very small vessel.  

Today’s photography lesson took place in the van as we waited for the ferry to load.  Mike and Neil shared secrets for getting good photos of the castle or other landscape while on the ferry.  That is "how do you take a good photo when you are moving?"  The main secret is to choose a fast shutter speed.  The below photo was taken with shutter priority setting and a choice of 1/500 of a second shutter speed.  My camera made the decisions from that setting for automatic focus and automatic aperture and automatic iso.

The below photos are of Fingal's Cave:

I will add photos and comments from Iona when I get time.  Just ran out of time for this week.

This paragraph was added before the trip:   On August 15, 1057, Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan in Aberdeenshire by Malcolm's men as he tried to return to Moray. His body was buried in the holy isle of Iona, where many other Scottish kings were buried. A few days after his death, his stepson, Lulach, was elected high king. Lulach ruled for seven months before being killed by Malcolm's agents. Finally, on April 25, 1058, Malcolm MacDuncan became high king of Scotland.  The book that I am reading is about Margaret, Malcolm's Queen.  It is wonderful historical fiction!

On our trip to Iona I asked the man who worked there about the burials of Malcolm and McBeth and he said that there is no proof of any sort that any of the early kings were buried at Iona.  There is only folklore/myth.  After our trip to get there, one has to wonder if anyone would have gone to the trouble to transport the bodies all of that distance.  Perhaps.  At that time, boats were a major form of transportation for both people and goods, so it is not impossible.  The man said that indeed they know that some of the clan chiefs were buried in the cemetery that adjoins the chapel.  

After our day of boats and Fingal's Cave and Iona, we returned for dinner at our hotel.  The main area of the hotel that included the lounge and restaurant had the spectacular view seen in the below photo.  I couldn't get enough of the view.  It was fun to see it in many different lights (that has been one of our main discussions this trip).  Mary and Neil and I went outside after dinner to capture the below:

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