Home > Vacation > Scotland – Day 12: Iona, Duart, Torosay

Scotland – Day 12: Iona, Duart, Torosay

February 12, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Itinerary

A leisurely day to relax and enjoy the best of the Scottish western isles. Drive across Mull for a visit to the beautiful and fascinating Isle of Iona. Time to visit the CATHEDRAL and explore the religious settlement before returning to the hotel early afternoon. Later, enjoy the drive up to Tobermory for a visit to the quaint island capital. Your Tour Director will have a recommendation for an optional excursion before dinner.

Isle of Mull

I neglected to mention in the previous post that Tobermory is actually located on the Isle of Mull. You have to take a ferry to get there, but apparently the ride was so short that I don’t even remember it. We stayed in the appropriately named Isle of Mull Hotel. This was a significant step up from the previous hotel, although it did tie for the most uncomfortable bed ever. Besides that, it was a good hotel.

Iona

Well, straight to the point, Iona did not happen. When we arrived at the ferry departure point, there was no ferry. I was one of the few that went outside to walk to the building by the shore. While I’ve never been in a tropical storm, I imagine this was pretty close. The wind was blowing so strong that it was actually hard to walk.

The Isle of Iona is a popular religious destination and known for its scenic beauty as well, since access is strictly controlled. While it was disappointing that we couldn’t go (esp. since it’s so close!), I think it was a sign of the two week tour starting to take its toll that we weren’t that sad.

Duart Castle

Instead, we visited our backup plan, Duart Castle. It has been used in a few major films. Read the official site if you want more background on the history :) By now it was still cold, but beautiful weather. We had lunch here, too.

Torosay

The afternoon was reserved for an optional visit to Torosay Castle. Unfortunately, you may not to be able to visit it again. Although the web site says otherwise, Laird (Lord) Chris James told us that it had been sold, and we were likely one of the last tour groups to be allowed in. This was a great last stop. The Laird gave us the tour himself and said we could take photos inside and touch stuff, including playing with the labradoodles. Doris took this to heart and played on this 19th century piano!

He served us a shot of whisky, gave us the tour of the gardens (huge), and manned the gift shop. It was very refreshing to meet someone of his status so accomodating.

One tour note. Although the Globus tour book says your guide may require half the fees for the optional excursions in cash at the beginning of the tour, John said he did not know why it was in there. It wasn’t until this day where we paid for the excursions. One lump sum, with credit card. Very easy.

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