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Island spirit

by hidden europe


a wee dram worth waiting for, from the island of Islay in the Scottish Hebrides

The twenty-fifth day of January is inscribed on the heart of everyone with an ounce of Scottish blood in them. For it is a day, or more particularly a night, dedicated to the memory of the nation's most famous poet, Robert Burns - who was born on 25 January 1759. The feast of the countrys patron saint, St Andrew, which falls on the last day of November, might easily come and go without remark, but Burns Night is a red letter day in the national calendar. But Burns Night 2006, just a few weeks back, was a day with a difference on the Hebridean island of Islay.

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Monemvasía: the Greek Gibraltar

In the southern Peloponnese, the island citadel of Monemvasía once enjoyed a key strategic location on major Mediterranean shipping routes. No wonder, therefore, that many have sought to secure control of the rock that is often referred to as 'the Greek Gibraltar'.

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Living on a small island demands a willingness to make compromises. Yet islands still have a special appeal. We make time for one of our favourite islands. Nothing much ever happens on Eriskay, and to be honest there’s not really much to see. But this outpost in the Outer Hebrides has a very special magic.

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