Tuesday, 2 July 2013

First Impressions

After 2 days of travelling I have finally arrived to the Isle of Eigg (little island off Scotland) where I will be volunteering for a month.  Although the train ride was long at 6 hours between Glasgow and Mallaig (where the ferry is to Eigg) I was thoroughly entertained just looking out the window as the scenery was beautiful, unbelievably so at times.  Once I arrived at Mallaig, which was about 6 in the evening, I was booked into a hostel and had a slight moment of worry when getting off the train as I realised I had no idea where it was.  I need not have worried however as it turned out the hostel was right next door, as was the ferry port and pretty much everything else!

My night at the hostel was nice enough, nothing remarkable (well, despite one of my roommate's snoring which was remarkably loud!) and I was on the 10.15 ferry this morning.  There was another moment of panic once I boarded the ferry as after consulting the timetable I convinced myself that the ferry was not stopping at Eigg and I would end up on another island, the most likely one being Muck.  I had of course read the timetable wrong (which is a common occurrence) and the ferry did manage to make it to Eigg, despite gale force winds and torrential rain.

Unfortunately, this weather means that I haven't been able to really see the island clearly under all this cloud cover.  What I have seen however has been pretty spectacular, which is pretty much all rolling hills and coast with barely any buildings in sight.  I have already begun to be introduced into the community, one of which I have never encountered before.  As I live on the Isle of Arran I'm used to most people knowing each other, but Arran has about 5000 people compared to the 100 that live here so this level of intimacy is at a different level.  The attitudes of these people also seem so much more friendly and relaxed than most you encounter these days, this was demonstrated by a man offering me his car to put my luggage in whilst I went into the shop to get food.  I would never have considered doing this in the middle of Glasgow but didn't think twice about it here, it seemed the natural thing to do.  The overall impression I get is that the people here are truly in sync with this island which shines through in their attitudes and pace of life.  I'm hoping to experience this myself in my time here as I'm already beginning to appreciate what I special place this is.

(View from my window)

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