Category Archives: Islands

(Thirty-)Six Views of Bass Rock

‘It is just the one crag of rock, as everybody knows, but great enough to carve a city from.’ Robert Louis Stevenson Catriona Japan’s Mount Fuji is a dormant volcano that looks just like a volcano should. An almost perfectly … Continue reading

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The Shores of Loch Bee

An island. A loch. An island — South Uist — that forms a link in an archipelago that lies off a much larger island, which in turn lies to the northwest of the world’s largest continental landmass. If the world … Continue reading

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The Bridge to Nowhere and the Bays Road

Just three main roads radiate out of Stornoway, the capital of the Isle of Lewis. One heads across mountains towards Tarbet and Harris to the south; another goes east past the island’s airport and along the Eye Peninsula to come … Continue reading

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Callanish

“a place appointed for worship in the time of heathenism” Martin Martin A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland circa 1695 Someone once said that the wonder evoked by historical sites is inversely proportional to the number of eyes … Continue reading

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The Shape on the Map — South Lochs, Isle of Lewis

Eleven miles east of the main road, six from the nearest shop (closed on the Sabbath), two miles from the open sea as the raven flies. Glen Gravir – a slender thread of houses stretching up a glen, just four … Continue reading

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Skellig Michael – The Edge of the World

Today is St Patrick’s Day and March 17 is the supposed date of the 5th-century missionary’s death. Patrick was the forerunner of many early missionaries who came to Irish shores to preach Christianity, the island more receptive to new ideas … Continue reading

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Thingvellir

The winter solstice marks the dark frontier of the annual cycle: that time of year when days are at their shortest; the period of feasting before the corner of the year is turned and daylight and warmth return to awaken barren … Continue reading

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Lofoten – from Å to Bø

North Norway’s Lofoten Islands are famous for their beauty. Not for nothing have these islands been sometimes described as the most beautiful in the world. Even on the dullest of days, the landscape here is breathtaking. Vertiginous ridges of ancient granite and gneiss … Continue reading

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North of Narvik

Havøysund, Finnmark This post celebrates Europe’s most northerly reaches. I have just returned from a Scandinavian trip where I travelled between Stockholm, Sweden and Kirkenes close to the Russian and Finnish borders in Norway’s far north. Most of the travel, which was … Continue reading

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