I’m sure that our tour guide from Heart of Scotland was understandably shook (or at least mildly surprised) when I blurted out in the middle of his dissertation about the scenery, “Oh my god, is that a seal? Like, an actual seal?”.
Travelling to a different country is one of the most intoxicatingly magical experiences you can ever give yourself. If you have the chance to travel, take it. You might find your world changed in more ways than you could imagine. Just like I was not expecting to see a seal basking on a rock in the wake of a tidal island’s recession. It would be as silly as someone visiting Pennsylvania and shouting, “Oh my gosh, you have squirrels here? Like, actual squirrels?”. Well of course we have squirrels here. They are as normal to our environment as pine trees and corn. But I had never before seen a seal in real life. The experience was awesome.
Breaking news: Scotland has seals.
This groundbreaking discovery occurred at Lindisfarne, a quaint tidal island that housed old ruins and a rural town like something out of a movie. You could walk up and down the narrow streets without fear of being run over by a driver like you could in the city. We stopped for lunch at a local café and ordered two cheese scones. This was one of our first culinary experiences in Scotland, and it may have been the fact that we were ravenously hungry, but we both agreed that we have never had anything more delicious in our entire lives. It was freshly baked, flavorful, still warm from the oven, and so big that even though our stomachs were full, we had to keep eating them because to waste them would be a sin.
This was also our first and only experience visiting a tidal island. Seeing one in person made The Woman In Black that much creepier in our minds, knowing the absolute separation that happens when the tides are high. We drove across the sandbar to and from the island before the tide rose again, as our tour guide told us stories of tourists who missed the time slot and had to wait an entire day before leaving again. And there, stranded on a rock that had, at one point been underwater, sat a seal. I felt like a pokemon trainer who had spotted a long sought after legendary.
Of course, if I had tried to take a picture of the seal from the car, as we quickly drove past, with my cell phone, the seal would have looked like a pebble and the shot would hardly have been worth it, and I wasn’t about to stop the car, jump out, set up my camera, and get the shot. We were on a time crunch. So the seal will have to live in the only place it can; my memories. But here are some lovely pictures of Lindisfarne for your enjoyment.