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The underlying rock, Lewisian gneiss, is thought to be 2900 million years old - half as old as the Earth itself.Here in the Western Isles (formerly known as the Outer Hebrides) the landscape and history of Lewis, together with the hospitality of its people provide a wonderful escape from the pressures of modern life.There is almost no public transport on Sundays (with the exception of the Leverburgh ferry and some Stornoway flights).The road signs are in Gaelic here and the language is still spoken by the islanders.Combined with the islands of the Uists and Barra to the south, you could easily spend 2 weeks here and still not want to go home.Today some 21,000 people live on Harris and Lewis and it is the most populated of the Western Isles group (although you might not notice it that much when you are there! There are lots of different bus routes on Lewis and Harris.They will often go out of their way to help visitors. Please note that the people of Lewis and Harris have strong religious beliefs and visitors should respect this during their stay.This means that Sunday is a day of rest for them and shops are usually closed.

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Work was halted as a result of archaeological discoveries and planning questions were raised regarding the possible dwarfing of Christ Church Cathedral by the planned office blocks.Visit the local council web site for the bus timetables.You can generally pick up free sheets with timetables for each local route from tourist offices in the Western Isles and at Stornoway bus station.A look at the early days of development on the Wood Quay site and plans for its future.In 1968 Dublin Corporation announced plans to build civic offices on a four acre site on Wood Quay.Buses generally run in time with the ferries and there are less in winter than in summer.The people of the Western Isles are well known for the warm welcome they give visitors.Thanks to the scorched earth policy of Magnus III, known as Magnus Barelegs because he adopted the Scottish kilt rather than wear Viking trousers, many of the original trees on Lewis were destroyed.In more recent times, trees have been replanted in various parts of the island and it is always a lovely surprise to come across them.Most of the island is indeed covered by a blanket of peat.Deposits of this started some 5000 years ago and today you can see it being cut and dried for later use as fuel.

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