Great Britain Part Seven (Isles Mull and Iola)

To get to the Isle of Mull you need to take some sort of ferry. We were going to take the ferry from the Isle of Skye to the Isle of Mull and then on to the Isle of Iola. But the day we were going to do it the seas were too rough so we took the bridge back to the mainland and from there a short ferry to the Isle Mull and then on to a foot ferry to the Isle of Iola. The Isle Mull is a rugged island on the west end of Scotland’s Highlands. It is the second largest island in Scotland with the Isle of Skye being the largest. The roads we traveled on, and (I guess most of the roads on the island) are narrow single lane roads, there are pullouts to allow passing both from oncoming traffic, and you also have to pull over and let faster traffic go by. Here’s a couple photos as we were driving down these narrow winding roads on a rainy day.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s what one of the little pullovers look like.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe made our way westward across the Isle of Mull and then boarded the foot ferry that took us to the Isle of Iola where we spent a couple nights. There are very few cars on the Isle of Iola and you have to get special permit before you can take a car over. The island has about 150 full-time residents it is about a mile and a half wide in about 3 ½ miles long. At one point in time, it was considered the “Edge of the World. By its far Western in Northern coastline’s you can understand why people would feel that way. Here we are the ferry as we approach the Isle of Iola it’s quite picturesque even in the ”Hazy Rain” we were having that day.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe large white building in the background in this photo is the St. Columba Hotel, our home for the next couple nights.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a neat old hotel dating back to 1846. If you’d like the final more of the history on the hotel you can find it at this website, http://www.stcolumba-hotel.co.uk/index.php?id=49. The hotel is now owned and run by 10 of Iola residence who got together and purchased it in 2005. So they could keep its rich heritage going.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust to the right of the hotel as we approached by ferry, you could see the Iola Abby a beautiful old church dating back many hundreds of years. I will have more close-up photos of this later.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a close-up photo of the hotel.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere Bonnie is standing in one of the gardens right out in front of the hotel with the Abby next door in the background.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the neat animals you find all over the Highlands of Scotland are the Highland cattle. These cattle are commonly called hairy coo (spelled Heilan coo). And we had a couple of them right outside the hotel.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIs another photo of the hairy coos with the only other hotel on the island (Argyll Hotel) and the village that we came from on the ferry (Fionnphort) back on the Isle Mull.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a close-up of Fionnphort with the ferry that we came across to the island on, in the foreground.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven though there’s only two hotels on the island there’s lots of other places to stay at. There are many Bed-and-breakfast and cottages to rent. There are all kinds of charming ones scattered all over the island. Here’s one with a whole bunch of garden Gnomes to welcome you.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the other residents that you find all over the Highlands are the famous sheep, sometimes referred to as woolly ewes’. Here’s one standing guard.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA group of sheep is called a flock, herd or mob. I like the word “mob” (so here’s a mob of them). They look like they’re ready to cause trouble.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn the day we arrived, it was late so we settled into the hotel had another great Feast and called it an early evening. The next morning a group of us headed out early to the north side of the island the views the rugged coastline. As we hiked a couple miles, we passed through the islands 18-hole golf course. One of the neat things about this golf course is there are no greens fees. It’s got beautiful views of the coastline.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt doesn’t have the type of greens that we are used to in the United States, as you can see here at this whole number five.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt has the usual hazards, sand traps, roughs and some water hazards. But the unique thing is you got to watch out for those mobs as seen in this photo.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou see the whole golf course is actually open grazing pastor. From there we made it down to the water’s edge. It was kind of a cold chilly day as you can tell by this photo of Jenny and Marge all bundled up.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEven though it was quite chilly there were a couple brave ones in the group, and just so they could say they did it. Kathy went waiting into the ocean.d9718e27-ee6f-45eb-8648-dd2fe12075c6And Bonnie even when in swimming. It was way too cold for me.fullsizerender-1All over the island there are many spiritual, religious artifacts and magical places. You find the usual Celtic Crosses.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Abby dates back to the beginnings of Christianity.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo the one evening we hiked up to the highest point on the island to locate a “Mystical Well” that was supposed to have magical powers. It had been raining off and on the most of the day, but as we started out the sun peeked out, treating us to this beautiful rainbow. It must’ve been a good sign.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn this photo the sun caught the Abby just right and made a quite brilliant looking.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs we made it up the hill and look back you got these beautiful views of the Isle of Mull and its rugged coastline. With the little rainbow thrown in for good measure.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe got to the top and as you can see in this photo of Jenny it still was quite cloudy and chilly.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s one of me gazing out at the surrounding countryside. You can see the Abby way off in the distance.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn this photo far off in the Valley below you can see the golf course where we were the day before, along with that mob of sheep still there.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a photo of the “Sacred Well” with the coastline in the background to the north. You can understand why the early settlers thought this was the end of the world because the ocean goes on forever.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe made it down to the well and did a prayer ceremony and collected some of the magical water.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom there we started heading down back the way we came, and took more photos along the way. Here’s one with Amy and Jenny making their way back down the hill. If you look in the very far right-hand corner you can see our hotel off in the distance.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sun would peek out now and then to make for these bright green pictures with magical shading.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s the Abby as a zoomed in from far above with the ferry in the background.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI zoomed in on the village of Fionnphort from high on the hill.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs we get back down to the Abby I took a photo of it again. I just love the beautiful colors of the stones.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a close-up of the Argyll Hotel it has neat colored stones and Masonry work also. Almost all the homes in the Highlands are some sort of Stone or Masonry, there are just so few trees to make homes out of lumber. Also another cool point, was both the Argyll Hotel & St. Columba Hotel had huge vegetable gardens and grew almost all the vegetables that were served in their restaurants.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe fish and other seafood that was served in the restaurant, came from local fisherman and the meat from local farmers. Maybe this unusual black hairy coo, would end up on the dinner table someday. But he’s almost too cute to eat.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlso in our travels, several times I noticed my new car off in the distance. It was bright red. But we didn’t get a chance to get a photo of one until we are on the Isle of Iola.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere I am standing next to it ready to take it for a spin.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut they spelled the word male wrong “Mail”. I told all the girls I wanted it because I was fit to be Royal.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter that several of the woman started calling me “King Richard and Your Lordship” I loved it. After our time on the Isle of Iola, we headed back to the mainland and work our way towards Edinburgh, Scotland. We took a large ferry back to the mainland, it would open its bow up and swallow up the vehicles like a giant monster.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe got to see this cool white lighthouse along the way “I just love lighthouses”.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe visited some other cool places along the way. One was another Fairy Glen that had some really neat trees along the way. This one’s was a Little Fairy House.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a Sacred Tree that people would come the tie ribbons around and say prayers and make wishes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI caught this one looking at me as I came back down the trail, I missed him on the way up the trail “really cool”.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother thing I noticed in Scotland is they take their power-poles quite seriously. They don’t just worn you about high-voltage, they plan on killing you.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne other stop along the way was a visit to “Inchmahome Island” on the Lake of Menteith. Here there are the ruins of an old monastery.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere were doing restoration work so you could not get up close and personal, but it was still a great place to visit.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe monks that came here worshiped in silence and never spoke.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s some cool stone work in the crypt.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat pretty much covers the Scotland portion of our “Great Britain” trip. I saw a lot more than what, I was able to tell about in these posts. As I stated early on. Between me and my sister we took over 3000 photos so that’s why it took quite a while to go through them all, pick and choose the good once. So that I was able to give you somewhat of an idea of what a wonderful time we had on her visit to Great Britain. Thanks for following along, I will have one more post on our time back in in London, where we spent the last couple of days before we had to head home to the US. Till next time, Rick

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Great Britain Part Seven (Isles Mull and Iola)

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