Scotland: An Unexpected Day on the Isle of Mull

If there’s one thing that I think is essential when traveling, it’s the ability to adapt and not be too crushed when things don’t go according to plan (which they inevitably don’t). This isn’t to say I myself am great at this – I can definitely have a major moody streak when things go awry! – but it’s something I always try to keep in mind. And this little idea of rolling with the punches came into play in Scotland, of course, when a trip to the island of Iona turned into . . . not a trip to the island of Iona.

The plan was to take the ferry from Oban to Mull, to take a bus ride across Mull, and then to take another ferry to Iona. Alas, Scottish weather had other ideas: we made it to Mull and then found out the seas were too rough to take the second ferry to Iona. Time for plan B!

Plan B wound up being spending the day exploring Mull. Led by our very friendly bus driver (he was a great storyteller), we drove around the island, taking in the sights. Our driver was a local, and he did a great job pointing out the landmarks, both physical and animal (there were plenty of those hairy coos on Mull).

We also swung by Ardalanish Weavers, where we took a tour of the mill. The place is old school, to say the least – they use these huge old looms that aren’t even manufactured anymore! I was charmed by the place, so I bought myself a wool scarf (it was lovely, albeit perhaps not 100% practical in terms of my lack of patience when it comes to itchy fabrics). They only make 30 of each pattern, so if nothing else, I can say my scarf is pretty damn unique!

After the weavers, we headed to Duart Castle, historic home of Clan Maclean. We made our way first to the castle café. We arrived too late for lunch, so “lunch” became a slice of mocha cake for me and lemon curd cake for Mom (I suppose there are worse lunches though!). After eating, we headed inside to explore the castle, which had a nice courtyard and a random but pleasing collection of artifacts.

So, yes, it wasn’t quite the day we had planned. Even so, we had a delightful time on the sleepy little isle of Mull. Plan B was not so bad after all!


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