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The Isle of Mull and Iona Abbey

UNITED KINGDOM | Thursday, 5 June 2014 | Views [1902]

Scottish Highland cattle, Isle of Mull

Scottish Highland cattle, Isle of Mull

NOT EVERY HOTEL AND B&B IS LISTED ON BOOKING.COM.  But when we couldn’t get a reservation on the Isle of Mull we decided it was too risky to take a ferry to the island on the chance we could find a place.  Instead we stayed at Oban on the mainland and commuted to Mull and Iona on Friday.

The nearest of the Hebrides Islands, Mull is also the wettest, indeed it is the wettest place in Great Britain.  And Friday was no exception.  The cold, rainy day made me want to curl up in front of a peat fire with a single malt and a bowl of soup.  Instead, we took the first ferry of the day from Oban to Craignure and drove to Fionnphort where we sprinted to catch the ferry for the short trip to Iona.


     Iona Abbey and the High Celtic Cross of St. Matthew

Iona is the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland, where the future St. Columb (Colum Cille in Gaelic) began converting pagan Scots in 563.  The Benedictine Iona Abbey was built around 1200 and the grave of St. Columb has been a destination for pilgrims for centuries.  The abbey has been rebuilt and renovated several times but the Celtic high cross of St. Matthew dates back to the 6th Century.


    Picture perfect Tobermory

Tobermory, on the other end of Mull, looks like Luneburg, Nova Scotia with its colorful harborside buildings.  Or vice versa.  But there wasn’t much to do on the rainy day except indulge in hot chocolate and decadent carrot cake before heading back to Craignure and an early ferry to Oban.  Driving on Mull is challenging.  Only a small stretch of the roads is two-lane; the rest is a network of narrow, winding and hilly single-track with regular pullouts for passing oncoming vehicles.  It’s slow going, especially on rain slick roads.



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