Mull and Iona: Days Four and Five

The next morning we visited the Iona Craft Shop, which had beautiful handmade blankets and other woolen items. We also rented bikes from the shop so we could explore more of the island. The weather was beautiful, sunny and fairly warm for early April, and since it was early April there weren’t many visitors yet.


On the road in front of the pods. This is the main road.


The woman at the Craft Shop suggested we start with two of the beaches on the north side of the island so that’s where we went. We left our bikes at the end of the road (no need to lock them up) and walked past some cows to get to the beach. The blues and greens of the water and the white sand make it look like the Caribbean, but people who swim here usually use wetsuits, even in the summer.


Visiting the northern tip of Iona


View to the northeast


Some sheep came down to the beach to say hello.


Interesting rocks


View to the northwest


Proof I was there


After having lunch at the Argyll Hotel, we rode down to the central-west part of the island where there is a machair and a golf course. This beach is called the Bay at the Back of the World, and it is known for its views of the Spouting Cave, a place where water comes in and then rushes out the top.


Bay at the Back of the World


The Spouting Cave


We picked up some dinner at the tiny village shop (more like a convenience store) and ate at our picnic table. Mary Ella got to help out with moving some sheep to a field across the road.


Dinner picnic, Dun I just behind the pods


Mary Ella doing some shepherding


After dinner we climbed up the tallest point on Iona, a hill called Dun I. We had great views all the way around the island, and of some other islands farther off. The sun was going down and the light was lovely.


View southeast from Dun I


View north from Dun I


Sunset light


Dusk at the pod

The next morning we checked out of our pod and caught the ferry back to Fionnphort, but not before we got to give some breakfast to the lamb.


Feeding time


Jesse’s turn


Leaving Iona


The Mull and Iona trip was one of my favorites, even though not all of us were there. Our reverse journey of ferry, bus, ferry, train, train, train, and bus went smoothly. We did hit just a little bit of traffic on the bus from Fionnphort to the ferry in Craignure:


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  1. Alison | | Reply

    My heart is so happy to read about your journey to Iona, which might be my favorite place on earth! Your photos and descriptions really make the magic of the place come alive. Climbing Dun I, exploring the beaches with their ancient rocks, visiting with the lambs, going by the beautiful Abbey, stopping in the little shops, eating at the hotels – all of it is so special. And how nice that it was sunny while you were there! With all the ferries, buses, and trains, you can see why so many consider it a real pilgrimage, but worth the effort! Thanks for posting!

  2. Mary Pat Dixon | | Reply

    I never did have the experience of traveling to the islands, so I am especially happy to have sojourned there via your stories and beautiful photographs. I’ve learned about Dun I, the spouting cave, and what a pod is. I can see why this would be a favorite trip for you. Too, there was hands-on experience herding the sheep, feeding the lamb and hiking. All the transportation connections panned out and seemed to be part of the exceptional exploration to remember.

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