Showing posts with label Isle of Mull. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Isle of Mull. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Not nine ladies dancing, but nine stones set in a circle, the Loch Buie Stone Circle on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, which I visited a couple of years ago with my travel companions, Cathy and Jonathan.
The circle was originally nine granite stones, about 12 metres in diameter, with the tallest stone being about 2 metres high. It is mainly composed of granite slabs which have been positioned with their flatter faces towards the inside of the circle. One of the original stones has been removed and replaced in recent times with a low boulder.

There are 3 single stones in the field at differing distances from the circle. The nearest of these outlying stones is 5m away to the south-east, and is only 1m tall. The second outlier is a spectacular monolith 3m high and set about 40m away to the south-west. Also south-west of the circle, 107m away, is the third outlier, over 2 metres high. The stone is broken at the top and was probably taller when erected.
I wonder why the original stone was removed and replaced with a boulder.   Below is a photo of  the large outlier stone.

To the left is a picture of me standing beside a stone to give you an idea of the size of one of the stones in the circle, which varied in height and width.

Cathy said the photo reminded her of an illustration of Aslan and the evil White Queen from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and the resemblance is plain.  If I had tried to strike the pose, I couldn't have done a better job.

And what the subject of this post has to do with Christmas, I can't say, except today is the ninth day of Christmas, and there are nine stones in the circle.  Gimme a break.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Beautiful Tobermory Harbor

From the Tobermory website:
Tobermory was built as a fishing port in the late 18th century and is now the main village on Mull. It is a picture-postcard of a place with the brightly painted buildings along the main street to the pier and the high wooded hills surrounding the bay. The village has a good variety of shops, hotels, and other accommodation as well as being the administrative centre for the island. The harbour is always busy with fishing boats, yachts and the ferry to and from Kilchoan.
Tears come to my eyes when I look at the pictures and see the many beautiful places we visited. I don't remember much about the road from Oban to Tobermory, but I remember that the Tobermory harbor was lovely at first sight.

Soon after Cathy, MadChauffeur, and I stretched our legs a bit, we went into a deli to get lunch. While we were there, MadChauffeur became annoyed with the woman serving at the counter, because he said she was rude, so he left. Cathy and I, like meek little lambs, waited and got our food. I didn't think the server was so very rude. MC went to the co-op for his edibles, and we met outside and sat on a bench facing the harbor to eat.

The harbor and village are gorgeous. You see the colorful buildings in the photo above. MadChauffeur stayed the entire time at the Western Isles Hotel, the brick building which you see perched on the hill on the right in the top photo.

Cathy and I stayed at Ardbeg House in Dervaig, just a short way inland from Tobermory, for three nights and then moved to the Western Isles Hotel.

Ardbeg House

The family of the hosts included two long-haired dachshunds living inside and ducks, geese (?), and sheep outside. Each day we had a choice of several excellent, freshly-cooked breakfasts. Our host makes her own yogurt, which was the best I've ever eaten.

Cathy taking a picture from the window of my room at Ardbeg House

The view from my window

As you see, the view from my window was lovely and well worth a photo.

The garden at Ardbeg House

The garden was fascinating and well laid out, and not at all in the formal style. Cathy was very much in her element photographing the farm birds and animals, as well as the flowers and plants.

Onshore boat with flowering plants

(Tom says the boat pictured above looks like a lifeboat from a cruise ship.)

In Tobermorey, I ran low in cash, so we stopped at an ATM to replenish my supply. I had my card in my hand ready to insert, just as the illustration on the machine indicated, and one of my fellow travelers pulled the card out of my hand, turned it around, and put it into the slot......where it disappeared into the machine and never came out. Of course, no cash was forthcoming. I began to simmer toward a boil, and, if looks could kill, one of our party would have died that day. The ATM was attached to a bank, and - thank heavens! - the bank was open. We all three traipsed into the bank, and, after I signed several papers and showed my passport and my driver's license, the bank manager opened the machine, and there lay my ATM card in its bowels. I asked if I could get my cash in the bank, and they said yes, and we went on our way. Eventually, I cooled down.

I won't say which member of our group did the deed, so, in this instance, the innocent must suffer with the guilty, because I would not want to embarrass the perp. However, if the innocent party chooses to speak out, then the matter is out of my hands. :-)

Tobermory Harbor

The weather was beautiful for the several days we were in Tobermory, except for the one day we visited Iona, when it rained all day. From Tobermory, we drove to take our boat trip to Staffa and the Tresnish Isles and, on another day, to tramp through the bog and the sheep shit to see the Loch Buie Stone Circle. As you see, my account of our travels is not in sequence.

Still Tobermory Harbor

Cathy helped me remember where we ate in Tobermory. One day, we bought fish and chips from a from the chip van on the harbor and sat down to eat on concrete steps leading down to a boat dock. The food was delicious.

Another evening, we ate at the Bellachroy Inn at Dervaig, but the meal there is a blur in my memory. I checked the menu at the inn, but it was not helpful.

Again Tobermory Harbor

The Mad Three dined on the deck at Café Fish. My food and wine were very good, but Cathy said:
...nice fish but they were a bit rubbish because they didn't do chips, my white wine was pox and they overcharged you wildly on the tip.
I tasted Cathy's wine, and I'm no wine expert, but I agree the wine was pox.

You know, I don't really mind being overcharged on tips, because the serving staff work hard most of the time and usually earn a small wage and depend greatly on tips.

Cathy again:
We ate twice at the Western Hotel, once in the expensive bit and once in the conservatory. Writing this is making me want to rush back there. I think that's all? It was five nights, right?

Right, and I join Cathy in wishing to rush right back there, because we had a lovely time.

Google map showing our location

My fellow travelers

Neither photo is from the trip, because both MadChauffeur and Cathy are uncomfortable with having pictures of themselves from our travels made public.

Oh, except for pictures from the rear. The two photos here are already posted on the internet by the persons pictured, so I thought it would be all right to use them.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Moi, looking unamused on the ferry to somewhere.

Only one more post to go, the account our time at the Glenuig Inn at Arisaig, but I may look at my pictures and decide to do another.....and possibly another. You never know.

Thursday, September 16, 2010



Photo by MadChauffeur. Click on the pictures for the larger view.

From Virtual Tourist:
As you ride into Lochbuie, you will see a sign noting ’Footpath to Stone Circle’. The sign should read 'Bogpath' as your feet will be getting wet as you wander across boggy pastures. The stone circles are finally reached through a gate - the gate latch was set so one has to stand in about four inches of water, unless you are agile and can hang onto the gate and fence while repeating that feat three more times as you come and go. There are nine stones set in a circle, the tallest being a couple meters high. Several outlying stones are thought to be of astronomical value. The stones date to the 2nd century B.C. and are the best prehistoric monuments to be found on Mull.
And ain't that the truth? Bogpath it was, and I was not wearing my boots, although to have dry feet, one would have needed wellies. Cathy helped me jump the small ditches filled with water, and I believe MadChauffeur may have given me a hand a time or two, although Cathy was my mainstay. But the trek through the bog was worth it, for the stone circle was amazing, indeed.

About halfway, we came upon a circle of smaller stones which Cathy thought (hoped?) might be the stone circle which was our goal, but MadChauffeur assured us they were not, and on we trudged.

Photo by Cathy added

Finally, we arrived. Below is the circle with the taller outlier stone nearby. Being near structures set in place by humans like us thousands of years ago was awesome (in the old sense of the word).


Photo by MadChauffeur

To give you an idea of the size of one of the stones in the circle, which varied in height and width, there I be for comparison.


Photo by Cathy

Click the link to view a panorama of the stone circle.
This view is taken from the centre of the stone circle. The site can be reached by following the signs on the roadside and then following white painted stones across the fields. The ground is often a bit swampy, so take boots.
More than a bit swampy, I'd say.

You may wonder why I why I don't use my own photos, why I use Cathy's and MadChauffeur's photos. Didn't I take pictures? Of course, I did! After trekking through the bog, and avoiding sheep shit all along the way, and never once asking, "How much farther to the damned stones?" I was not going to miss recording my visit. I join you in wonder about my photos, because they disappeared from my collection. I have not one photo from the stone circle. They are gone. So far as I know, those are the only pictures from my trip that went missing from my camera.


Photo by Cathy

Cathy said the vibes did not feel right for her to step into the middle of the circle, but I ventured boldly in. All seemed fine to me - no bad vibes. Cathy snapped the picture above.

But now all my pictures of the circle are missing. MadChauffeur said, "That will be down to the magic of the stones. Being partly French you were obviously deemed unworthy by the gods." He added that because I stepped inside the circle, "You'll be away with faeries - but, then, you always were."

I don't know what to think.

Anyway, visiting the ancient stone circle was a great pleasure, and all the effort required was amply rewarded in the end.

PS: The scenery is not bad, either, is it?

UPDATE: From the comments:

Cathy said...

What I like about the pic where you have your back turned, Mimi, is you are striking the same pose Aslan strikes in the drawing where he and the evil White Queen are conferring with each other before she sacrifices him on the stone table. You are striking Aslan's pose with unerring precision - feet, hands, head, everything - and the stone is standing in very nicely for the witch. So, that's who took your photos. It was that dratted witch.

A striking resemblance, indeed. I am Aslan.