Stirling and the Isle of Mull and Iona

Trip Start May 27, 2008
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Trip End Aug 20, 2008


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Where I stayed
Pennyghael Hotel

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Friday, July 11, 2008

On Monday, July 7th(we keep forgeting the dates) we returned to Stirling to see the Wallace Monument and the old Stirling bridge. The Wallace Monument is a tall tower on a rocky outcrop with fantastic views of the entire Stirling area. From there we did a drive around the Stirling area. We stopped and visited Castle Campbell which was high up in a glen looking out over the Forth valley. We then went to the Rumbling Bridge near Yetts o' Muckhart, yes thats the name of the village, to view a small burn(creek) that flows through a deep gorge with a bunch of small waterfalls. After returning to Stirling we found the old bridge and walked across it and took some pictures. It was built in the late 1400's. Its amazing that bridges and buildings built 600 years ago are still in relatively good condition. We returned home again after a long day of touring. We had to buy a tank of gas today. The fill up cost $100. Ouch! On Tuesday, we left for Oban. We drove up the west side of Loch Lomand and headed west to the coast. The road at the north end of Loch Lomand was very narrow and curvy. Many squeeks were heard from the passenger side of the car every time a truck came around the corner. We had some time before our ferry left, so we stopped and visited Dunstaffnage Castle. It was really beautiful. We then drove the rest of the way to Oban and boarded a car ferry over to the Isle of Mull. We visited two castles at the north east corner of Mull, Duart Castle and Torosay Castle and gardens and then drove to our hotel at Pennyghael. The next morning we drove down to Fionnphort to catch a passenger ferry to Iona. All of the roads on Mull are single track roads. They have passing places about every 100 yards or so. The roads are hilly and curvy and when you see another car hopefully you are near a pull out. If not, you might have to back up for 50 yards or so, which we did 3 times. Iona has the ruins of a nunnery and a restored abbey that was started in 563AD! The Irish sailed over and started the abbey to convert the Scots to Christianity. Many of Scotlands legendary kings are buried there. I hiked up to the top of the tallest hill and took some great photos of the island. We returned to our hotel and went to dinner at a nearby pub. We met some nice people who lived next door and spent the evening talking with them. It was very nice. The next morning we left the Pennyghael Hotel and headed out on a scenic route over to Tobormory. This is a beautiful little village on the north west corner of Mull. We then drove back to the ferry and went back to Oban. We drove home on a different route which turned out to be better because the roads were wider and straighter. It was about a 2 hour drive. We went past the place where they are playing the Scottish Open and hit a lot of traffic. Friday was a slower day. We went back to Stirling and picked up our Historic Scotland membership cards. We have saved a ton of pounds by joining this organization for a year because we get into all of the Historic Scotland sites for free. We also visited the Church of the Holy Rude and the old Stirling jail. The church was beautiful and the tour guide at the jail was hilarious. We have 3 days of peace and quiet left before Mike and Anne arrive. Ha,ha.
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