We’ve seen some great stuff on this trip, but this really puts a bow on it.
We booked a daytrip to Staffa and Treshnish through Turus Mara. A little bus picked us up at Salen’s village center and delivered us to the harbor at Ulva Ferry on the west coast of Mull.
At Ulva Ferry we got on a small boat. We passed many uninhabited and privately owned islands on the way to our first destination.
Fingal’s Cave on Staffa was one of the places I most wanted to see in the western isles. Its unusual rock formations inspired music by Felix Mendelssohn
and, more recently, by Ashland Oregon’s own Brian Freeman.
There is a corresponding rock formation of hexagonal basalt pillars in Ireland called the Giant’s Causeway, which I visited many years ago.
Legend has it that the two places were the ends of a bridge built by the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill when he wanted to fight his Scottish counterpart Fingal (or Benandonner). Or that the two were formed when the giants threw rocks at each other… you know how legends can be. Anyway I’ve wanted for 30 years to see the other end. It was worth the wait.
We landed on the uninhabited island for about an hour – time enough to see the cave and walk around a bit on the top of the island.
Then we got back on the boat and headed for the Treshnish Isles.
I hadn’t heard of the Treshnish archipelago before looking into options for visiting Staffa. The islands were inhabited on and off for centuries, but now they are a protected bird area. The birds there have no fear of humans. I have to say that the two hours we spent on the island of Lunga were nothing short of magical.
On 8/17/13, David Danzmayr conducted the Britt Festivals Orchestra in Felix Mendelssohn’s Orverture, The Hebrides (Fingall’s Cave), Op. 26. It was wonderful! You could clearly hear the sounds of the ocean. If you and Andreas are back in Medford next August, my guess is that David Danzmayr will be the conductor you will be seeing on the podium. All 3 finalists were excellent, but I believe that David will be the choice of the Orchestra Search Committee. We will know by the end of August.
Wow… I didn’t know this piece was in the program this year. I sure miss going to those concerts.
Correction: We will know by the end of September.
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