The Slate Islands produced more than 9 million slates in their 19th-century heyday. Today the slate villages sit a little forlornly under their gray-slate crags facing a sometimes wild sea. The islands of Seil, Luing, and Easdale now largely subsist on their visitors and a little lobster fishing. Easdale's workers' houses have become a writers' and artists' colony; just across the narrow sound is Seil Island, reached by ferry, and beyond that the Isle of Luing.
When there was every reason in the world to stay away and see the ruins, one woman traveled to Greece to get to work.More