Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island Harbor

Off the north coast of Ireland is Rathlin Island, an L shaped bit of rock.  You can only get there by ferry and only when the weather is good.  Folks have been known to be stranded on the island for several days when a storm blows up unexpectedly. 

We had a bit of rain early in the day, then it settled into clouds with intermittent sunshine.  A beautiful day for walking and looking or even sitting on a beach watching the seals sunning themselves.  The cliffs on the northeast of the island are a bird sanctuary.  We arrived too late to see their nestlings; the puffins had left 4 days earlier.
At the right time of year, these cliffs are covered with nesting birds.

Robert the Bruce spent a year on Rathlin living in a cave.  After that experience, he thought it was better to take his chances fighting the English for Scottish independence.

Beautiful day to sit at the beach, but not so good for sunbathing.
The island was once inhabited by 1500 people, but during the Famine, over 1000 left.  Now it is a summer holiday spot.  The school has 8 students.
Both sides of the road are covered in wild fuschias.

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