Subject: Re: Isle of Mull

The car ferry Oban / Craignure takes about an hour each way, so leaving on the first ferry to Mull in the morning & returning on the last ferry in the evening will give you a nice long day. You will need reservations, however, especially for the last return in the evening. Even in May, a friend who had mis-booked her Craignure / Oban ferry had to wait in the standby queue for space for the trip she wanted. It'll be more heavily booked in July.

The direct road from Craignure down to Fionnphort will take, depending on weather & traffic, about 1.5 hours. The walkon ferry to Fionnphort / Iona takes about 15 minutes for the crossing & goes constantly, so there's no wait there. The car park at Fionnphort is a pay & display area & it'll cost about GBP 10.00 per day. You can easily spend the entire day on Iona & make the last return car ferry if you take the direct road back from Fionnphort to Craignure. This would be a wonderful day's visiting.

But you'd miss the chance for a quick boat trip out to Finngal's Cave, the walkon ferry over to Ulva, the standing stones at Loch Buie, any of the fine walking tracks around the island or even the winding & terribly scenic return to Craignure (which Baerbel mentions) the long way around the island via one of those stunning Hebridean beaches which face the Atlantic & Tobermory . By my reckoning, as long as you're on Mull, taking another day to do at least one of these other things makes sense. The all-day whale & wildlife viewing boat trips are also well worth the time & money. Weather can change dramatically & suddenly on Mull, so a little more time gives you more of a chance for one those clear & incredible days with sweeping vistas from the Ross of Mull, the layered lava flows of the fells & the sparkling Atlantic. It can be quite sullen & sodden when a rain squall blows thru & the single-track roads even more challenging.

Altho I'm a vegetarian, that fish & chips wagon at the Tobermory harbor gets rave reviews from my fellow hostelers whenever I'm on Mull.

Trouble is, Scotland has so much to see & do, & it just can't all be done on the fly. It's a place to wander slowly & savor without pressure. I come home already yearning to return to Scotland.

Gail In Eugene but never for long