The remarkable geological formations on Staffa are justifiably renowned, having inspired artists, writers and musicians over the years, with Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture perhaps being the most famous work made in it’s honour. Others that have visited and found inspiration are Turner, August Strindberg, and Sir Walter Scott.
It’s great to find an important heritage site in the UK which you can freely enter without health & safety regulations compromising the experience, and walk right to the very back of the cave. Inside, a deep booming can be heard as the sound of the sea dramatically crashes at the cave end, resonating and echoing throughout.
Once we viewed the cave, we headed up to the other end of the island to see if we might catch a glimpse of some puffins. An extraordinary thing happened. I sat down on the cliff edge and within 15-20 seconds, a puffin flew straight towards me and landed in a hole around three feet from where I was sitting. In its beak were a couple of tiny sand eels, and after a minute in the hole, it flew out to, presumably, catch more food. Needless to say, the swiftness of the experience meant that I didn’t catch it on camera – but then on this instance a camera would have impinged upon the experience itself. Some things are more precious because of their fleetingness.