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Series 1: 18. Oban to Staffa



From the fishing port and ferry terminal of Oban, Michael heads to the Hebridean archipelago. En route to the Isle of Mull, he watches eagerly for sea mammals in a stretch of water where 24 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises have been recorded.\n\nOn the quay in the pretty pastel-painted fishing port of Tobermory, Michael checks out the daily catch before heading to a remote beach to help one woman and her dog with an unusual harvest. Seaweed was once an important resource on the island for making glass and soap, and its use is being revived today as a delicacy in the form of chutney. Michael enjoys a gourmet picnic with chutney, cheese and crackers, also from the Isle of Mull.\n\nA short boat ride takes Michael to Iona, the cradle of Christianity in Scotland. Michael hears how, in the 6th century, an Irish monk named Columba founded a monastery on the island, from which he and his followers spread the gospel. Michael meets members of a modern-day community now active on the island and throughout the world.\n\nHeading to the tiny isle of Staffa, Michael follows in the wake of a young German tourist of the early 19th century. The composer Felix Mendelssohn was only 20 years old when he set eyes on the volcanic sea cavern Fingal’s Cave, with its striking basalt columns. Michael is in awe of the natural wonder and amazed to hear how quickly and precisely Mendelssohn translated his feelings on seeing the cave into music. The Hebrides Overture is one of Mendelssohn’s most famous works.

Source: BBC 2

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