This week I have had a very enjoyable day trip to Iona. This is one of my favourite things to do, but sadly I don’t manage to go that often. However I had to go to a meeting being held there on Monday evening, so with a good reason, off we set. We left Dervaig at about midday. The weather was wonderful and the views along the coast via Gruline and Gribun were stunning. We picnicked in the sun at Eas Fors near Ulva Ferry on our way and stopped a few times to take photographs and enjoy the views.
The roads were quiet which was nice – it often is like that in April. I suppose we must have taken about 2 hours to get down there, with the stops along the way. It doesn’t feel like a chore to drive as it is all so beautiful. There is work being done to the pier on Iona so we were taken across in a Staffa Tours boat. The Sound of Iona was flat calm and as always the softly Caribbean turquoise sea is a delightful surprise and already the magic of Iona has started.
We sat and had tea in the garden of the Argyll Hotel, overlooking the sea. I could sit for hours there, the view and colours are so beautiful. For me it feels so peaceful, yet it is a working place, and we watched small boat activity across the bay.
Spring is a little further ahead on Iona, compared to Treshnish. The lambs are bigger too! We had an early dinner at the Argyll Hotel which was delicious. Lots of local produce on the menu – they only know what freshly caught fish they will have when it lands on the jetty at 4pm – it is that fresh! Our meeting was held in one of the reception rooms of the hotel and at 10pm when it finished we walked in the dark down to the jetty to catch our transport home to Mull.
We were going back to Mull on the ‘Birthe Maria’, a beautiful wooden boat owned by Alternative Boat Hire and available for (usually) day trips around Iona, well worth considering if you like sailing. It was a perfect end for my day trip to Iona, coming back to Mull in this way. The twilight was strong and lit the sky behind the village. Lights twinkled from windows along the street. The moon glowing orange appeared as the boat crossed the sound. The sea was mirror calm and reflecting a nocturnal blue on its surface. The putt putt of the engine and the sky full of stars.
Quiet roads home to Dervaig and then to Treshnish, via a faint aurora at Croig… what a lovely day.