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    « A Bangkok Day. Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn . . . and More! | Main | Memories of Scotland: Boat of Garten Rail Yard »

    Memories of Scotland: Isle of Mull Road Trip

    Our trip to the Isle of Mull was, a road trip, and as such, we saw many interesting places on the way there.  One such place of interest was not far from where we spent the night, the famous village of Pitlochry . . . Blair Castle.

     

    The oldest sections of Blair Castle date from 1269.

     

    A lovely burn (creek) ran along the side of the castle.

     

    Like many castles in Scotland, there have been many renovations and much remodeling over the centuries.

     

    Our route took us along the souther edge of the Highlands, and along Loch Tummel.

     

    Although it was early April, Spring had not yet reached Scotland.

     

    Way out in the countryside, people still built their homes as row houses . . . a statement of the power of the Scottish Lairds as much as anything I guess.  Here, along Loch Tummel.

     

    Along the bluff above Loch Awe.

     

    Lovely.

     

    I wanted to take our Thai visitors to a magical place . . .

     

    I wanted our visitors to see one of my favorite chapels in Scotland,  Saint Conan's Kirke on the shores of Lach Awe.

     

    Saint Conan's Kirke is interesting because all the local Clans had a seat of representation in the chapel.

     

    The Clan seats were reserved with their coat of arms.  Fascinating cultural artifact.

     

    A beautiful pipe organ filled one side of the chapel. I would love to have been there to hear it play.

     

    The crypts of nights and clan leaders lined the chapel.

     

    The Saint Conan's Kirke chapel interior with many moods.

     

    A dark, cloudy day . . .

     

    There was some fine stained glass there as well.

     

    A very stylized effect.

     

    A wonderful window to the world . . .

     

    Simple, straightforward furniture.

     

    Saint Conan's Kirke.

     

    Not all churches are churches.  This old rural church has been converted to a cafe . . . we stopped for coffee, tea and, of curse, scones.

     

    The cafe retained many original features of the church.

     

    The very beginning of Spring . . . and the first buds.

     

    We arrived in the old harbour town of Oban.  It is a favorite place of ours to visit, not just because of the ferries we have taken from here, but because our favorite restaurant to have fresh oysters is there (front and center on the dock with the bright red roof). "The best oysters in the world" - my wife says.

     

    We checked into a nicely restored old seafront hotel (the only white one in the row of guesthouses and B&Bs).

     

    Ferry service to many of the western isles of Scotland originate from Oban.

     

    The Oban Ferry Terminal (foreground) where we departed for the Isle of Mull.  That is a fake ruin on the horizon, a folly, built in Victorian times when ancient ruins were fashionable to have in your city.

     

    Oban has some fine old architecture.  Here, Gaylen House.

     

    Down along the pier, Oban harbour.

     

    A row of old Oban harbour side B&Bs.

     

    Quaint, weathered, old world charm.

     

    Weathered charm.

     

    But Oban was just a stopover . . . our destination was across the water . . . the Isle of Mull.

     

    The ferry that took us to the Isle of Mull as it arrived in Oban.

     

    The views from the windy deck of the ferry were breathtaking!

     

    The rugged hills of the Isle of Mull.

     

    The Isle of Mull in a nutshell . . . a sea economy and culture.

     

    Friends and family visiting from Thailand means an opportunity for a road trip somewhere I have never been.  The Isle of Mull, and it's atmospheric and moody landscapes and quaint seaside villages beckoned . . .

     

    The west coast of the Isle of Mull is wet, wet, wet.

     

    Thick, wet moss of the west coast.

     

    Early April 2017 . . . always very damp Isle of Mull.  The dampness on a cloudy day certainly brings out the color of the decomposing autumn foliage.  A view from a hill.

     

    The sea invades the land around the whole of the Isle of Mull.

     

    When we saw a castle ruin we would stop for photos.

     

    We stopped often and walked out to points of interest and to gaze upon the fantastically moody vistas.

     

    As is true for all of Scotland, there are always castle ruins to explore.

     

    Castle ruins everywhere.  These are the ruins of 14th century Aros Castle.

     

    Isle of Mull always presents a strange, otherworldly view.

     

    A fisherman out on an Isle of Mull inlet.

     

    Small villages dot the inlets.

     

    This church was in a style I had not seen before in Scotland.

     

    Abandoned and weathering ship on the Isle of Mull.

     

    The dampness from a light drizzle brought out the color, pattern, detail, and complexity of the old rotting ship.

     

    Sheep everywhere.  Very wet sheep.

     

    View from our hilltop B&B of the sweet 'town' of Tobermory.

     

    Our very sweet B&B, The Harbour View, was was run by a Scot and a Thai!  Our Thai visitors were able to have Thai breakfast!

     

    Tobermory, Isle of Mull, has to be one of the most picturesque villages I have ever seen!

     

    Not only a photographer's dream . . . Tobermory is a painters dream as well.

     

    Simply Beautiful.

     

    Low tide, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland.  April, 2017.

     

    Half of the harbour village of Tobermory.

     

    Walls along the colorful streets of Tobermory.

     

    The old Tobermory church steeple against a perfect blue sky . . . in the western isles of Scotland . . . in April. Impossible.

     

    I never tire of this view.

     

    The small pink shed next to the harbour sold excellent ice cream.  Our B&B was on the hill above the village.

     

    The old Tobermory town clock.

     

    History marks itself.

     

    Ancient battles fought and castles defended near here.

     

    Castle Duart (c1350) under renovation.

     

    The atmospheric view from Castle Duart on a cold, rainy day on the Isle of Mull.

     

    Then, around a bend . . . . a photographer's dream come true!

     

    Fantastic patina of age and deterioration.

     

    Abandoned after years of service.

     

    There are no bad light days in photography . . . .

     

    Not too long before this ship completely disappears.  I wonder if this is an Aberdeen Trawler.

     

    Three old fishing trawlers abandoned.

     

    Nature taking over.

     

    Fishermen worked these decks for how long?

     

    Always a view of sea and rising hills.

     

    On another day . . . sun and blue sky along the tiny roads . . .

     

    Cattle and sheep augment the fishing industries of Mull.  These are Highland cows.

     

    We meandered along these small roads using Google maps to guide us to points of interest.

     

    After a long drive in the rain on tiny roads, we reached a small valley rimmed with low clouds and this austere church.

     

    The rain came and went on all days.  These cattle were very wet!

     

    The morning we were leaving the Isle of Mull the weather turned wonderful . . . of course!

     

    Ships to and from the Outer Hebrides pass through the Sound of Mull.  We took one of these ferries there last year.

     

    We boarded our ferry back to Oban on a beautiful morning.

     

    It was a smooth passage home.

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