We had a bright and early start this morning, and the ship set sail before breakfast. Once we arrived in Craignure, the main ferry port on the Isle of Mull, we boarded a coach to Fionnphort. From here, we caught a short ferry ride to the “wee” island of Iona. Although it is only three miles long and home to just eighty people, Iona has played an important role in the establishment of Christianity in Scotland, England, and throughout mainland Europe. Small in size but rich in history, Iona is a remarkable island to walk around.
Iona was looking magnificent in the sunshine. The sea was shades of blue and green, and a gentle breeze kept us cool as we explored the island on foot. Our guide showed us the nunnery, and then we visited the restored medieval abbey that, even today, holds daily services. We also viewed St Oran’s Chapel and Reilig Odhrain, which is reputed to be the burial place of forty-eight kings of Scotland, including Macbeth. And of course, we made sure to visit the charming gift shops that were full of beautiful art, jewelry, and fabrics.
We enjoyed a local lunch at one of the restaurants on the island before catching the ferry back to Mull. Next up, we headed to the seat of Clan MacLean at Duart Castle. The castle has a long and illustrious history, but it lay in ruins for a long stretch of time before being bought and restored in 1911 by Colonel Sir Fitzroy MacLean, the 26th Chief of Clan MacLean. We were treated to some delicious scones at the castle’s cafe, complete with clotted cream and jam.
We returned to Lord of the Glens in Tobermory, a quaint town with colorfully painted houses and shops. It had been a fascinating day, full of ancient history and incredible landscapes, and we were happy to put our feet up and relax with some snacks and drinks over recap.