Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Fingal’s Cave

The small island of Staffa (off the west coast of Scotland) is famed for its magnificent and unusual black basalt rock formations. The island’s pillars with their geometric forms were formed by a huge volcanic eruption during the Tertiary Era about 70 million years ago and this is the result of a unique lava cooling process. Today the island is uninhabited and is a National Nature Reserve, where kittiwakes, razorbills, grey seals, basking sharks and dolphins make their home.

Staffa’s most famous landmark is a sea cave – Fingal’s Cave. The cave is huge and you are surrounded by the distinctive hexagonal columns of basalt that look almost man-made. The cave stretches 250 feet in to the rock and its roof is 70 feet above the sea. The sea surges in with a cacophony of noise and cascades of white foam. There is a path in on one side which involves stepping from the top of one column to the next.

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