60 Days in Europe: Day 53 / July 21

July 21, 2014 – Oban – Inner Hebrides Islands: Mull – Iona.

From my journal:
Laura’s birthday!
At about 6:00, according to my watch, we noticed all our other devices were saying it was 7:00.

7:00. The time of our ferry’s departure to Mull. We drove down, parked, and RAN to the dock. It was away.

We ended up paying for a tour to Iona, as it was the only way we could get there.

We went and had some breakfast.

9:50 Ferry to Craignure on Mull.

In the Sound there were dozens of huge jellyfish. The smaller were about a foot wide, the larger about the size of a manhole cover.

Bus to Fionnphort (about 90 minutes), where we took a ten-minute ferry ride to to Iona, arriving about 12:45. Laura told one of the ferry crewmen it was her 50th birthday, and asked f she could “drive the boat.” He asked when she was returning, and when he walked away, we thought he was ignoring the request.

It was a beautiful day, sunny and about 70°.

We wanted to avoid the crowds, so we walked all the way to the white sands of the North Beach . Laura got her feet wet. We gathered some rocks. I read some Celtic prayers, including this form St Columba, who came here in 563:

Lord, you are my island; in your bosom I rest
You are the calm of the sea; in that place I stay.
You are the deep waves of the shining ocean.
With their eternal sound I sing.
You are the song of the birds; in that tune is my joy.
You are the smooth white strand of the shore; in You is no gloom.
You are the breaking waves on the rock; Your praise is echoed in the swell.
You are the Lord of my life.

We agreed that could have been written on the very place we were sitting.

We walked back south, visiting the abbey, St Oran’s, along the way.


When we got on the ferry, the crewman took us directly to the bridge and handed Laura the helm! She piloted most of the way across to Fionnphort, and we had a blast with the men on the bridge.

“Once it goes, it’ll go.”

Slept a little on the bus. Waited for the Oban ferry at Craignure – it was an hour late. We walked to the grocery store there and got food for dinner and the next day.

Back at the hostel we fixed and ate dinner.

Disappointment at the Skipinnish Ceilidh House when the show was cancelled. (Counting us, about six people showed up.) It was going to be Laura’s birthday outing.

We walked around Oban looking  for a place with desserts or music or both, but couldn’t find anything. Went back to the hostel and ate the desserts we got at the store. Before sleeping we talked with our roomies, one from Boston and the other from Abilene, TX.

Oban Pano (Custom)



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