A Travellerspoint blog

ISLE OF MULL

AT LAST!

all seasons in one day 58 °F

The crossing to Mull from Oban is only 45 minutes, so I got to my B&B in Craignure, Mull, and my wonderful hostess took all my "drowned-rat" accourtrements and put them by her Aga to dry overnight. She also gave me the best room in the house, for the price of my wee single - and it looked immediately out over Loch Linnhe - beautiful! Craignure is right at the "bottom" (the "top" being at Ft. William) of Loch Linnhe, where it opens up and empties into the the Sound of Mull. Absolutely gorgeous, and the light on the hills and the water are ever-changing, and always beautiful. I met some very nice people in the pub (where else?!), and even got to play several rounds of darts with, sad to say, folks *far* more adept at the game than I. Hey, it's been awhile, o.k.? Took the bus to Tobermory and spent a wee while there. The highlight was hiking (from Craignure) past Torosay Castle and on to Duart Castle, which sits on a point of land in the Sound. Torosay is really more of a baronial manor house (quite large and beautiful), and Duart is a much older structure. Really enjoyed myself on Mull, despite the weather. Naturally, the day I left for the return ferry trip to Oban, the sun was out and it was a gorgeous day - even got a couple of rainbows! This just about ends my sojourn in Scotland. Tomorrow (2nd November) I take the early train back to Edinburgh, then catch a late-afternoon flight to Amsterdam.

Until later -

Terry

Posted by obanlass 08:59 Comments (0)

OBAN

AN-T-OBAN ("LITTLE PORT")

rain 55 °F

Finally made it to Oban! My great-grandfather was the first Engine Driver (read: Engineer) on the line from Oban to Edinburgh. I even have a photo of his railroad housing flat from a visit many years ago. I'm visiting Oban for a couple of days, mainly because I love the town, but also because it's the jumping-off point for the ferry to the Isle of Mull - which I've never visited and always wanted to. Of course, the weather has been on-again-off-again rainy, and eternally windy. And wouldn't you know it, the day (Saturday the 29th) I opted to walk the half-mile to the ferry, it was raining like crazy. And you know me... I figured "a little rain won't hurt me!." Of course, by the time I got inside the ferry terminal, I was squishing I was so wet. The words "drowned rat" spring to mind. But at least I could stay inside on the ferry and stay warm... wet, but warm!

Posted by obanlass 08:50 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

EDINBURGH

SCOTLAND AT LAST!

sunny 65 °F

My heart is "home," where it belongs! I can never get over just how comfortable and "right" Scotland feels - no matter when or how often I'm here. Edinburgh is my first stop in a wee jaunt through parts of the Auld Country. The weather at first was overcast and misty, but today (Wednesday the 26th) it's absolutely stunning - far too nice to be inside... so I wasn't! There's no way, of course, to be able to see *everything;* but I did manage lots of walks around the main part of the city, listened to lots of pipers busking on busy streets (and believe me, only one was worth his salt!), as well as some darned good kids on guitars, saxaphones, and fiddles. There's just so bloody much history here! I took myself through the castle this morning, which was ideally suited to doing in such great weather (no being blown off the battlements like I was at the castle in Conwy!). I met some delightful young people from all over the world (Norway, Finland, Taiwan, Japan, Spain, and even Virginia. Although you give up a few privacies when staying at hostels, it more than makes up for it (*usually*) with getting to meet people from all different places and walks of life. Amazing! Enjoy the pictures from my sojourn in "Auld Reekie!"

Now, on to Oban!

Terry

Posted by obanlass 08:05 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

BATH

(NO, NOT *THAT* KIND!)

semi-overcast 62 °F

No "scrub-a-dub-dubbing" at the Bath in question... although probably back in Roman times they might have done something similar. Bath is only about 15 minutes from Bristol, England, and is a very beautiful city - which means it's a very popular city. There was an amazing number of people in Bath during the week, but on the weekend - even in the middle of October! - it was absolutely packed... can't imagine what it must be like in high season! Of course, since it's such a popular town, it's on the expensive side (but still nothing like Dublin). I took a very good half-day tour out to Stonehenge, and then we went to the little - and very picturesque - village of Lacock. Lacock will be familiar to many of you from the Harry Potter movies, the BBC series (with Colin Firth) "Pride and Prejudice," and several other films. I think Lacock was the highlight of the afternoon for me; just a lovely little village that dates back to the 12th century. Some of the houses even still have their original limestone-tile roofs! Stonehenge on the other hand, was well-worth seeing, but now that you can't walk amongst the stones and get a true 'feel' for the structures, it loses some its intrigue. I really enjoyed Bath - as I said, a very warm and pretty city.

By the way, whilst I was in Bath, the New Zealand All-Blacks won the Rugby World Cup!!! Go, All-Blacks! (And I didn't even have my All-Blacks socks on!).

Until next time ...

Terry

Posted by obanlass 07:54 Archived in England Comments (1)

NORTH WALES

CONWY

all seasons in one day 62 °F

Boy, talk about history! The North Wales town of Conwy (the Welsh pronunciation is "Conway") is absolutely dominated by the castle fortification of Conwy Castle, the best-preserved of Edward I's defensive castles that were erected along the Marches (border between England and Wales, Wales being rather upstart and rebellious when Edward I was on the throne). My first real day in Conwy saw me trekking (as "martially" as I could) down to the castle from my B&B to have a look around the castle. It is, to put it simply, nothing short of breathtaking. The Castle itself is in incredibly beautiful condition (considering that it dates from the 1200's!), but the town walls themselves are in superb condition, as well... and you can walk the town walls to your heart's content without spending a farthing. The castle itself requires an admission fee, but it's well worth it. Wales itself is gorgeous, which just adds to the magic of the castle and the town. Take a look at the posted photos to see what I mean. Next: Bath!

'Till then ...

Terry

Posted by obanlass 10:39 Archived in Wales Comments (0)

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