'You are not crossing the Pentland Firth in a kayak, are you? She asked while looking down on us while we were packing the kayak.

Well, that is exactly the plan. 

    'You can't do that in a kayak!!! The current is too strong. You can come with us on Simon's boat. We are going to Stroma Harbour.'

Well, the strong currents are part of the fun of the crossing! We have calculated the turning of the tide exactly. First traversing to the west and when approaching the island we have to paddle to the east. 

     Hmmm, it sounds like you know what you are doing. But we will keep an eye out for you when we are on the island. Better yet, come by the house and we’ll drink a wee dram. '

Well, that is an offer we can't refuse. Meeting people who lived on the island before it became abandoned! There must be some stories to tell. 

After an exciting crossing that went exactly as calculated, we arrived at Stroma Harbour. A trike was motoring all luggage from Stroma harbour to a house up the hill. 

      'The house is just up the road, you can't miss it. It's the only one with the door still in!' the trike-driver said with a smile.

Oki-doki, after putting up the tent and some dinner, we walked up the road. 

      ‘There you are!! You made it!! Have a dram!! 

And after a healthy measure of whiskey, we were chatting. The house was still in the original layout. We listen to several memory lanes of life on Stroma.

      ‘You are here tomorrow, aren't you? We have more musicians coming in. We are having a mini-music festival. You must come!! The two of you will be the mini audience!!

The next day at two o'clock the mini-festival started with more musicians than audience. It was magical to listen to people playing together on an uninhabited island and we were the only ones there listening to it. And the sheep of course…

But like any festival, there is nothing like listening to live music played by real people. Music just affects people’s feelings. It brings out emotions in you and makes you happy and sad and everything in between. And sharing this emotional experience together is a special connection and a precious memory. Whether the festival is with 60.000 people or just with two people, the experience is the same.

I wish everybody lots of little and big festivals to happen in your lives. Sometimes you might need the music to lift you up and sometimes the lyrics. 

Charlotte Gannet

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