We spent a great week on Mull despite some very wet weather that made part of the cliff wall collapse further down the street. It was like watching manufactured rain in a movie lashing across the bay. We did not get too bored as the children drew pictures of the colourful harbour front and strummed on the old guitar that we took with us. After I made Fenella's Clothkits dolly with back to front arms, I pieced a quilt of simple squares. My husband kept thinking of errands to fetch from the multi-purpose chandler at the harbour that sold everything from cake decorations and harmonicas to fishing tackle and binoculars. I came up with plenty of ideas for remodelling the fisherman's cottage that we were staying in. It was quaint and cosy but if it was mine I would have redecorated it with a nautical theme and antler coat hooks.
It was not quite the tourist season so some places like the handmade cheese company were not open for business. We travelled all over the island in the Landy and took in the spectacular scenery, driving on twisting, plunging single track roads. Some of the settlements were extremely remote and you could drive for miles and not see a house or car. There were many highland cows and sheep wandering around and we kept a keen eye out for wildlife. We could not decide whether the birds of prey were sea eagles, golden eagles or just buzzards. We were fortunate to spot a sea otter, a mountain hare, a seal, and on the last evening a pod of five harbour porpoises swam around the yachts moored up in the bay at Tobermory.
There were plenty of good places to eat out and the seafood was fabulous. At Mishnish, Cafe Fish, the Pub and the Chip Van we feasted on langoustines, mussels, oysters, crab claws, monkfish, scallops, and even squats which looked like large pink woodlice. I have to admit that we had fish and chips several times in one week but it was all so deliciously fresh.
Our outings were delightfully simple – Tobermory museum, collecting shells and pebbles on the beach, and a foggy ferry trip back to the mainland to visit the most westerly point of mainland Scotland. There really was nothing much there apart from a few muddy cows grazing on the beach. The expedition to the neighbouring island of Iona was more successful as it was sunny and the children enjoyed looking for pieces of sea glass and green Iona marble on the small beaches. It was fascinating finding out about the geology of the area. Mull is a large island formed mostly from massive volcanic eruptions millions of years ago It was obvious to see that lava had flowed and bubbled to form most of the land mass. Apparently, the rocks on Mull are so old that fossils are rarely found as plant and animal life had not yet evolved.
We were sorry to leave the island on our last day as we had enjoyed our week spent mostly without Internet or TV. We took the long scenic route home via Glencoe, Aberfeldy and Braemar so that we could tour through the Highlands. On that journey we appreciated that Scotland has the most amazing scenery of craggy peaks, waterfalls, lochs and glens. It was nice to arrive home and realise that we have so much space in our house after spending a week in a small cottage. We would certainly recommend a trip to Mull and may consider visiting other islands in future; possibly visiting when there is a Celtic music festival and hoping for some sunshine – still, a major advantage of it not being brilliant weather was that at least we did not have to contend with midges