2015   Outer Hebrides

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The Outer Hebrides were conquered by the Vikings, because they wanted the wood for shipbuilding, presumably having over-cut the Norwegian forests.  Today the islands are barren and treeless, with only traces of the traditional lifestyle remaining.
There were inhabited villages like this one when Neil was a teenager, but today this is an interesting museum.
This rebuilt blackhouse looks a lot more appealing than those lived in until about 40 years ago.
Notice how the thatched roof is tied down against the Atlantic gales, and the thickness of the stone walls.
A couple of centuries ago, people and cattle lived in these single roomed buildings.
This traditional workboat is now maintained as a museum
We found that sailing it is hard work, since the gaff has to be dropped and passed to the opposite side of the mast to tack.
The sail is very crude by modern yacht standards, but when we sailed this one in Stornoway Bay, it was almost able to keep up with a modern cruising yacht of same size.
The main halyard is hast to be moved to the windward gunwale each tack, since it is also the windward (and only) shroud supporting the mast.
  The Shiant Islands are one of the major seabird breeding grounds.
If you double-click on he photo yo will see the horde fo birds circling over our anchorage
Once common all over rural Scotland, this mobile bank still serves the islands.  The bank manager simply parks in designated spots, and opened the bank for a few hours to take deposits, cash cheques etc.
We never see service lake that in Canada.
Of course, it is becoming unnecessary as the Internet spreads.
Despite their reputation for tough weather, the Outer Hebrides also support palm trees, such as those in Castlebay.

There is a photograph in the pub beside these trees, showing the bay filled with several hundred herring fishing boats, about 100 years ago.
The island has seen a few such booms, but currently fishing is virtually dead.
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