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No one has said "Top of the mornin' to ye" but Karin's been called a wee lassie at least twice. We're in Tobermory and tomorrow is our last day in Scotland. We took the bus from Inverness on Tuesday all the way to the west coast and the lovely little seaside town of Oban, where I have officially left my heart. Hot and sunshiney, with the glare off the water rolling in swirly psychedelics, we dumped our suitcases at the hostel and got immediately on a boat.

Out to the seal colony we went, and saw seals, which, if you didn't know it, look much like big grey rocks on land. They stared incuriously back at us, the zillionth boatload of gaping tourists and rolled over and flapped their flippers in shooing motions. In the evening, we walked along the Corran Esplanade, while the kids skipped and played on the rocky beach below, collecting snail shells (Karin) and limpets (Martin). The next day we bussed out to the castle ruins of Dunstaffnage and then I took the kids to see a movie.

Yesterday we hopped on the ferry and glided between the islands along the coast of Morvern to Mull. Another bus took us to the northern side and the little rounded circle of brightly colored houses that line the rocky cliff bay of Tobermory. There's not much to do in Tobermory, it appears, but luckily for us, we arrived on the day the Mull Highland Games were being held and we climbed the hill (there are NO FLAT SURFACES in Scotland) to watch. Martin's Kilt Count soared to the skies: he counted 109 yesterday alone! There was Highland dancing, bagpipers everywhere, a pipe band, and track and field events. Martin and Karin both ran in footraces, winning a lollipop each for their efforts. Anders and I abstained from the events for men and women (prize for the women's race: a bottle of wine; prize for the men? Tobermory whisky, of course!).

Every day except one afternoon in Edinburgh has been sunny, warm and wonderful, until we arrived in Tobermory. Yesterday it was raining as the ferry pulled into Craigmure and it dripped on us all through the games, until the very end when it started POURING. We walked back down the hill in the cold and wet and found a place to sit and have donuts while our raincoats drip-dried. Today has been overcast, but the rain has held off, and we've been castle-crawling: first, a mini-steam-train ride to Torosay Castle and gardens, which is really just a big Victorian manor house, only 120 years old at that, and then Duart Castle, a wonderful 13th century MacLean Clan stronghold, which was restored in 1911.

Tomorrow, we start heading home, leaving Mull for Oban in the morning, where we'll have lunch before boarding the train to Glasgow (assuming they aren't striking as threatened, in which case we'll be taking the bus) for the night. I have my next trip to Scotland already half-planned, since we've so obviously missed so much! I think I could spend several months exploring the islands alone, and I NEVER get tired of castles. :)

Next stop: Glasgow, then a flight to Gothenburg and home to OUR OWN BEDS!
mood: happy


I envy you your trip. :) Scotland is one place I would like to visit some day too. And I don't want it any less reading about your trip! (BTW I like your daughter's name. Same as my aunt's. :) )


:) Mia, what's your blog address?? I know you posted it in a comment once before.

I can't wait to see some pictures from your travels. I hope you have a little time left to indulge us before you have to go back to work.

just musing....self absorbed

Sounds like a wonderful trip. I marvel at the likes of you and Trish, who can write about another world while visiting.
I can't seem to keep a foot in the everyday enough to do that. Both feet sink into the new experience. Sometimes I think an entry, but it somehow never makes it to anyone’s eyes.

I used to be prolific with journal when younger. What, I wonder, has happened to me?

I would love to share my journey and get the oohs and ahhhs of my tiny handful of commenters, and yet I do not do it.....

Anyhow, it's great to hear about your trip, your family, the fun and frolics..

I LOVE Scotland, it´s one of my most favourite places in the world. The people are so friendly and so polite, the places are quaint old and beautiful. Lovely to hear that you have had such an amazing holiday.

Huh - so Tobermory is more than a talking cat. Who knew? (Well, besides thousands of Scottish people.)

Anyway, sounds fabulous and I'm suitably jealous and wondering when I'll get around to Scotland myself since I'd really love to go.

Your holiday sounds so wonderful! I hope you have been taking pictures!!!
I am headed there unexpectedly for several weeks with my mum and daughter. What was your favouritest thing?

OH! You lucky thing! Where are you going?? My favorite place was, by far, Oban and the islands. I wish we'd had more time there and less in Inverness, actually. There were so many places we didn't get to see!! We enjoyed Edinburgh as well, if you can get there, I'd recommend it, but be prepared for LOTS of uphill/downhill walking in the city. And things are crazy expensive compared to the dollar. :) Edinburgh Castle was excellent, as was Duart Castle on the island of Mull, if you're into castles, and Urquhart on Loch Ness as well, although it's a ruin. :)

Thanks! I am hoping to get to Oban for sure.

can I vacation with you??!!

oh my god-- in my next life you will be my mommy and take me on fabulous vacations!! This sounds like such a dream-- cannot wait for the photos that will surely follow.

How do they say "Big kiss" in Scottish?


Re: can I vacation with you??!!

I have no idea how they say it, but I'll take it anyway! :) It was fun, despite the getting on each other's nerves after 14 days of close quarters and no privacy. I want to rest for a bit and then go again! :D Wait until you see Martin's "My Trip to Scotland" journal!

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