Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The day after the rain

Thursday on Mull it was clear and fine, and we thought we'd head for Iona, where there is a very old abbey, a ruined nunnery and great views and beaches. But first, to appease the children for taking them out all day in the rain the day before, we went to the Children's Farm. There we saw many cool animals, including sheep with 4 horns, a shetland pony, lots of lovely chickens and these little bunnies. We could pick up the babies, and man, were they soft! The farm didn't open till 10:30, I think, so the day got off to a slow start, but we decided to take the scenic route down to the bottom corner of the island anyways. This involves your basic single track road, but at the bottom of a cliff. It's hard to carve out passing places in said cliff.

But eventually we arrived at Fionnphort and got the ferry to Iona. The first thing you come to is the nunnery (men in the abbey up the hill, women down below, closer to any invaders??). The kids would have stayed here all day, running through arched doorways and clambering all over things! I think if this picture came with sound, you'd hear me say, "You can't climb on the walls, get down, stop, come back heeeeeere!"

Now I can't tell you all about the beauties of the abbey, mainly because some adult of the party, not me, brought the stuff from the car but forgot my inside glasses. So I had the choice of sunglasses or no glasses at all, but whatever, I couldn't really see. But I did see the crosses outside and the grave markers and so on. And I can tell you that most of the knots on the big old crosses are indeed one unbroken string. More cabled knitting....
This stone was in the museum (picture taken by the adult who could see in a museum). A lot of the very worn stones get put indoors, and some of what you see outside are concrete reproductions.

We walked about a bit more, bought some cookies at the little store, and found a beach where we could pass the time till the ferry came. It was great white sand, good incoming tide to dig holes for, and lucky for us, we had bought some buckets and shovels upon arrival on Mull.

Another long day, and the plan for Friday involved driving back down to Fionnphort to get on another ferry for Staffa. This trip to Staffa was the main reason for the trip in the first place. We had to get to the ferry at 10 am. We just had to. Really. Stay tuned....

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