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.


  1. Thank you for posting these - I loved our trip so much. MP and Mrs. MP and the dogs drove us to Tobermory and then we took the ferry to Iona for 3 nights. As I recall Tobermory was not brightly painted until it was chosen by a children's TV series to be the outdoor shots -- they liked it so much they kept it and the tourist dolllars/pounds it brings in.

  2. Ann, I did not know that the bright colors were the result of a filming. I thought the colors were an old tradition. The harbor would still be beautiful, but the colors are a nice touch.

  3. That is what I was told by residents but according other stories the tradition was to paint the houses colorfully. Seems very Mediterranean to this Scot's descendant.

  4. Ann, the colors were there for us. That's all that really counts. :-)

  5. Grandmere, check your gene pool. You look like Her Majesty. Did anybody curtsey?

  6. Bex, LOL! No one curtsied. We are not amused.

  7. I really enjoyed reading your memories of this trip. We live close to Oban and I have travelled to Tobermory many times: whilst working (as a Minister); by sea on my husband's boat (before it sank!) and by campervan - this was the latest. Glad to see you had good weather. Every Blessing

  8. Freda, I envy you. You live in a beautiful part of a beautiful country. On our last night in Oban, we ate at a wonderful restaurant on the pier named EE-USK. The food was excellent.

    I'm ready for a return trip.

  9. Yikes! I look rather broad in that photo at the top. Am I that broad? I wouldn't have said so at all from the front. How alarming.

    Re the deli, the women weren't rude, though they were taking a while to get around to serving us. I'm glad we waited because our fresh crab sandwiches were yummy. Mad Chauffeur got some horrid prepackaged sandwich for his lunch.

    I visited Tobermory in 1999 before the telly series and I recall the buildings being that shade then. They may have repainted one or two for the series but the general idea was already there.

    At Bellachroy Inn, if I could refresh your memory, Mimi, you and I ordered the crab and avocado tower as a starter with the aim of sharing it, except that by the time I had turned round and taken two breaths you had scoffed the lot. You then innocently claimed you had "forgotten" we had ordered it to share (yeah, right). But I didn't mind really because it meant I didn't have to share the yummy starter of venison that I ordered with you :-) Mad Chauffeur ate the steak and ale pie for mains and said it was the best pie he had ever eaten in his whole life. I think I had the pork belly, which was excellent.

    As for the perpetrator of the hole in the wall incident, all I'll say is it wasn't me :-)

  10. Cathy, I can't please you! Even in deep shadow and from the rear. No, you are not that broad. Remember the camera adds five pounds. No one can tell where you end anyway.

    Our crab sandwiches from the deli were excellent, and I'm glad we waited, too.

    Now I remember the crab and avocado tower at Bellachroy Inn! I'm sorry to say I have no regrets about not sharing, although my failing to do so was in all innocence. The tower was beyond delicious. Did you get even a taste?

    The matter of the perpetrator of the hole in the wall incident is now settled.

  11. No one can tell where you end anyway

    Goodness, I really do need to get some exercise :-) Only jokin'.

    No, I didn't get a taste of the crab and avocado tower, sadly. But everything we ate in Scotland was exceptionally good so it's not as if any of us missed out at any point. It was all excellent food.

    I had langoustine at Cafe Fish. That was good too.

  12. Cathy, I will never, ever forget the langoustines at Glenuig Inn. They were food for the gods. MadChauffeur gave me most of his, and I ate them all. How could he give them away?

    I have much more flattering pictures of MadChauffeur, pictures that make him look like a fecking fox, compared to the one he chose to publish on his blog, but he won't allow me to post them.

  13. hi Mimi, I know you have more flattering pics of the Mad One, as do I, and he does indeed look like a fecking fox in many of 'em.

    The langoustines were something else. Sigh.

    One thing you and I missed out on doing was visiting that cafe in Dervaig where the Mad One reckoned he had an exceptionally good coffee.

    We also missed out on eating at Crannog in Fort William because the Mad One refused to go, something I am still annoyed about.

  14. Cathy, I'm sorry about the restaurant at Fort William, but I'm not the coffee fan that I once was. If MadChauffeur had not disappeared after we parked the car, we might've all had a taste of good coffee. I guess he needed a break from our company.

  15. Mimi, I blame myself for the restaurant because I did not put my foot down (though I also blame Mad Chauffeur for refusing to go). Anyway, too late now. It's not a tragedy :-)

    Speaking of the car, it was very cute at Ardbeg House when Jasper the daschund came out to say hello to the Mad One when he arrived one morning and promptly clambered inside the car to investigate the clear smell of Lady Dawg that was coming from the back of it. Not that Glenna and Delphi were there, but Jasper was still intent on investigating.

    Jasper was very sweet and liked his belly being tickled. The other daschund, Yogi, was more into barking idiotically while gambolling round in circles.

  16. Hello, I have just stumbled accross your blog. Thank you for being so kind about Ardbeg House and the Isle of Mull. I hope that you will return someday and rest assured you will be made welcome if you choose to visit us again!
    Yogi and Jasper send their love!
    Ardbeg House.

    1. Iona, thanks for writing. We enjoyed our stay in Tobermory and our time with you so very much. Your breakfasts were wonderful, and I will never forget your delicious homemade yogurt - the best I've had in my life.


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