Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

The hills are alive…on the Isle of Mull! (Part 2)

Because of of the abundant series of events that happened on the Isle of Mull, I wrote a 3000+ word recount of the experience, which you can read here. However, most people will probably find it TL;DR, and so if you just want the summary and the photos, read on! A complete series of photos of this trip can also be found on Facebook 😉

If you haven’t read my first post about the recent trip to the Isle of Mull (the cycling adventure), I suggest you read that first as this post continues from the previous one 🙂 Of course, one post isn’t nearly sufficient to cover the incredible experience, so let’s move on with part 2!

Tobermory and its harbour

As I had mentioned in the previous post, one of the reasons for visiting Mull was to go to the original Tobermory. There is a little place named Tobermory in Canada, which I visited as part of a road trip with my friends four years ago. After finding out the name Tobermory came from a town on Mull, steps away from where I am situated, I had to seize the summer opportunity to go see it for my own. Canadian Tobermory and Scottish Tobermory are quite different, each unique in its own rights. While Canadian Tobermory entertained us with its surrounding attractions like Flowerpot Island and the Grotto, Scottish Tobermory is the only sizeable town on the Isle of Mull and stood out with its vibrant colours and serene air. After my 8-hour biking session, I had Saturday evening and Sunday morning to stroll around the small town, enjoying my walk along the harbour with all remaining strength in my legs, browsing the delicate gift shops on Main Street, and even attending part of a church service on Sunday. Sometimes it’s just nice to get away from it all – the city, the friends, the noise, the familiarity – and to recharge for a bit with a change in scenery 🙂

Sheep are everywhere!

So I once read somewhere that there are more sheep in Scotland than there are people, and I probably accepted that piece of trivia with a grain of salt, not reflecting upon it more seriously. Then as I cycled around Mull, I truly experienced this fact. There were sheep scattered around the hills…everywhere! (This was of course also obvious on the way to Perth.) I would often see them chilling on the side of the road, but once in a while, there would be an entire flock crossing the road, kind of like what you would see with Canadian geese on the Waterloo campus (if anyone understands this reference, say hello to an alumna!) Usually the sheep were gentle, and I yielded to them and waited for every one of them to have crossed before continuing on. However, there would occasionally be one sheep in the flock that was slightly…scaring-looking, let’s say. It would stare at me as if saying, “YO WHY ARE YOU ON MY TERRITORY.” And yeah…I’m not going to lie, but more than once, tossed the badass sheep a hopeful glance to say, “Please don’t attack me, I’m friendly, I promise!” And I rode on, half expecting badass sheep to chase after me – it never did, of course. Then again I had the strange urge to go and hug one of them…

Toward Duart castle

After mingling with the sheep and before leaving Mull, I decided to drop by Duart Castle. I could have taken a bus from the Craignure ferry terminal (where I would catch the ferry back to the “mainland”) and reach Duart in 15 minutes, but I opted to walk one way. I was told that it would take approximately one hour to get to Duart from Craignure, but I took much longer as I took an alternative route to the main path. Before setting out for Duart, I grabbed a quick lunch in Craignure, fully making myself ready for the leisurely walk. I then embarked on the journey that resulted in me almost missing the ferry back to Oban (do read the detailed recount if you want to know what happened), completely at my own fault. But let’s not get into that here – the walk itself was rewarded with the tranquility of a shaded under the sun and the occasional glimpse of Duart in a distance. The problem was…the castle never seemed to get any bigger or closer! I almost felt like I was circling it at a constant radius, never to actually reach it. Maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me – or the castle was the trickster itself!

Around Duart castle

At long last I reached the Duart castle. Hah, conquered! I guess the castle itself wasn’t all that impressive, but finally reaching that destination that you’ve been striving for, even though it felt like you’d never get there…and being welcomed by the sound of bagpipes played by people in kilts! That was really something. Of course the one-hour walk was nothing compared with the strenuous 8-hour cycle of the previous day, but Duart was indeed a perfect way to wrap up the weekend on Mull. I did take the final opportunity to kick off my shoes, spread my jacket on a grassy hill by Duart, and lay down to absorb the luxurious sunshine that was blessing the island that day. The distant mountains seemed to embrace me and the sound of the wind could have lulled me into the most peaceful sleep with the sweetest dreams – but before long I had to get up and catch the bus back to Craignure, ending my stay on the Isle of Mull.

Yes, I had to go back to work the next day, but the Scottish highlands invite me to venture deeper within its secrets, towards those hills that are alive. The voices of the hills resound in my heart – I hear your call, and I will reach for you, farther, deeper, higher, so wait for me!

2 responses to “The hills are alive…on the Isle of Mull! (Part 2)

  1. darwinontherocks July 4, 2015 at 15:54

    Isle Mull is such a fantastic place. We stopped there on our way to Iona and Staffa islands, it was gorgeous !


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