In Ballachulish, despite the foul weather, they were in good enough spirits to make up a few bars of music which Mendelssohn jotted down in a letter to Klingemann exactly a year later when he was in Munich:
The ditty is not of great significance, but one can’t help noticing that it is in the key of B minor which is the same key as the Hebrides Overture, the opening theme of which Felix was to jot down in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull a day later. Is it too fanciful to suppose that the Highlands of Scotland put Mendelssohn in a “B minor mood”?
Klingemann also describes this part of their journey in a letter written the following day:
Karl Klingemann – letter, The Hebrides, Friday 7 August 1829:
Yesterday we moved up-hill and down-hill, our cart generally rolling on by the side, and we ourselves stalking onwards through heather and moors of all kinds of passes (nature here is so amply provided with them that Government does not ask for any*), under clouds, and in a thick drizzling rain, through the Highlands. Smoky huts were stuck on cliffs, ugly women looked through the window-holes, cattle-herds with Rob Roys now and then blocked up the way, mighty mountains were sticking up to their knees (the latter in Highland costume) in the clouds, and looked out again from the top, but we saw little.
*Klingemann makes a pun on Scottish passes and German passes (ie passports).