Sunday, 25 October 2009

Fingal's Cave

Fingal's cave is a sea cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, part of a National Nature Reserve owned by the National Trust for Scotland.
It is formed entirely from hexagonally-jointed basalt columns, similar in structure to (and part of the same ancient lava flow as) the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, and those of nearby Ulva.
Its size and naturally arched roof, and the eerie sounds produced by the echoes of waves, give it the atmosphere of a natural cathedral. The cave' Gaelic name, Uamh-Binn, means 'cave of melody'

The cave was discovered by 18th Century naturalist Sir Joseph Banks in 1772. It became know as Fingal's cave after the eponymous hero of an epic poem by 18th century Scots poet-historian James Macpherson. It formed part of his Ossian cycle of poems claimed to have been based on old Scottish Gaelic poems. In Irish mythology, the hero Fingal is known as Fionn mac Cumhaill. The legend has Fionn or Finn building the causeway between Ireland and Scotland.

The cave has a large arched entrance and is filled by the sea; however, boats cannot enter. Several local companies include a pass by the cave in sightseeing cruises from April to September. However, it is also possible to land elsewhere on the island and walk to the cave overland, where a row of fractured columns form a walkway just above high-water level permitting exploration on foot. From the inside, the entrance seems to frame the sacred island of Iona across the water.
Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn visited in 1829 and wrote Die Hebriden, commonly known as Fingal's Cave, inspired by the weird echoes in the cave. Mendelssohn's overture popularized the cave as a tourist destination. Other famous 19th century visitors included author Jules Verne, poets William Wordsworth, John Keats and Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Romantic artist J M W Turner, who painted 'Staffa, Fingal's cave in 1832. Queen Victoria also made the trip.

The Golden Years

Brainteaser - Saturday's Answers

Yesterday you were asked to answer ten questions in our 'Job Lot' quiz. You were given four alternative answers to each question and you had to decide which answer was correct. The answers you were looking for were:

01 Deal in insurance.
02 Study and explore caves.
03 Compile dictionaries.
04 Act as an usher to the Lord Chamberlain's department.
05 A beachcomber.
06 Supervise the stocking and issue of provisions on board ship.
07 Write in shorthand.
08 Maps
09 To make gold out of base metals.
10 Correct the malformation of teeth.

9/10 Excellent 7/8 Very Good 5/6 Good - Below 5 (Careful when you apply for a job, you may not know what you are letting yourself in for).


(Click on image to enlarge)

Amazing Artwork - John Pugh

The last in our series of eight, featuring the work of artist John Pugh, who paints 3D murals on the sides of buildings.
Slowin' down to take a look in Winslow, Arizona. Included of course is a girl in a flat bed Ford slowin' down to take a look at me.