Scotland 8: Day 21

3.22.20 | Glasgow, Scotland | 19:45

I didn’t get a wink of sleep last night. I don’t know what it is- just couldn’t clear my head, with all of this virus nonsense going on. It’s not that I’m even worried. It’s essential to be safe and take care of yourself, but I feel that people are overreacting. I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The bus system doesn’t run on Sundays on the Isle of Mull. I found out about this on Saturday night, so I had to call a taxi service to give me a ride from Tobermory to the ferry at Craignure. This cost me a whopping £50! This is pretty much highway robbery, but it was either that, or hitchhike. I’m not even sure if that’s legal in Scotland.

Pretty soon, I was off the ferry and on the train, headed back down to Glasgow. I tried to sleep on the way, but that’s worse than trying to sleep on the airplane. I gave up and read from the book, Scottish Murders. Even though reading usually relaxes me, there’s something about a murder that holds my attention.

Glasgow is like a ghost town. With everyone doing their self-quarantine as the government has asked of them, I have never seen a city so dead! It was almost spooky to walk around.

Scotland 7: Day 15

03.16.19 | Iona Pod | 16:34

The trip to Iona was incredibly beautiful! I boarded a bus in Tobermory and had to switch to another bus in Craignure. Then came the part of the trip where we drove the non-existent town of Torosay. The reason I bring this up is that this is one of the places that my ancestors came from. The town doesn’t really exist anymore, but my bus driver, a local, knew exactly where it was. There are still families in the area with the surnames of my ancestors. Sadly I’m just passing through. My aunt Pam asked me to take the time to search for “our people” wherever the keep the records. I’m guessing that would be back in Tobermory, but not sure. That search will have to be another trip, another year.

I finally shot some video… hope you enjoy!

The “pod” that I’m staying in is very, very small. There’s not room for much more than two beds and a shelf. The restroom/shower is at the family’s house- they keep the foyer unlocked for pod renters to have access. It’s a cozy little setup. The pod is nice and warm since it is double insulated and the owner has added a little wall heater. I was a bit worried, to be honest. This is Scotland in March, after all.

Scotland 6: Day 32

03.30.18 | Tobermory, Scotland | 15:17

Today I’m thankful that breakfast is included in the price of my hostel. It’s not that it’s a particularly lovely breakfast, but this trip could quickly become way too expensive. I travel best when I eat a big breakfast, a small lunch (or just get something in my stomach), and a medium-sized dinner, although many people give me too much food at the night time.

I could save money by buying my own groceries, but in most of these places I’m visiting, I’m only here for a couple of days, and I really don’t want to walk around with groceries in tow- that’s just more to carry. It’s the little things that help, like the cold cereal that my hostel is providing.

I made my way again to the ferry terminal and purchased a round trip to Craignure on Mull. When purchasing a round trip here in Scotland, they call this purchasing ‘a return.’ In the states, the return is just the second half of the journey. If you ask for a round trip ticket, they know what you mean, but they may look at you funny.

I bought my ticket this morning without doing any kind of research because I was in the mood to be surprised. I figured if I googled anything about Mull, that would be cheating. The one thing that someone told me was that I would want to get on the bus to Tobermory.

Once I left the ferry, the bus to Tobermory was right in front of the terminal. It was easy, and I, once again, snagged the front seat to shoot some video of the landscape along the way. This was a double-decker bus, and every other passenger walked up to the top level. So the bottom tier was just the bus driver and me. We had a great chat on the ride.

Tobermory is a lovely little town. Now I’ve found another place that I have to come back and visit in the future! My list of “must-see” destinations in Scotland is continuously getting longer and longer! I asked the bus driver (I should have got his name) where I should bring lunch, and he directed me to the Fish Cafe on the opposite side of the bay. The food was incredible!

I wandered to an old church at the waterfront. When I entered, a woman was reading her bible in the front row. I didn’t want to distract her, but she started the conversation. She told me that she felt the need to study today since it happened to be “Good Friday.” I had totally forgotten that it was! We had a great chat, all about my travels and her life while living in Tobermory.

We were deep in conversation, and suddenly, her husband comes in with their two dogs on leashes (I had never seen a dog in a church up to this point). He announced to his wife, “Sorry for the interruption, but the time is right now!” He told me that he was referring to the very moment Jesus died on the cross- she smiled and nodded. They said that the savior was pinned to the cross at noon and stayed alive for three hours before he died. This I didn’t remember, or maybe I didn’t know. I guess I need to study the bible again.

I walked through the town, up the hill, and discovered the cemetery. Mull is one of my ancestors’ places, so I hoped to find the surname McLucas since that is my family name from this island. I know they left in the mid to last the 1700s, however, and the oldest stone I could find was dated 1810.

Oban, Scotland | 19:18

One exciting thing that was pointed out today by the lady that I spoke to within the church- not only were those who left the Scottish isles looking for religious and other freedoms, but they were actually being driven out by the English. The crown decided that they could make better use of the land by using it for sheep grazing rather than letting people live their lives. These people, and possibly my own ancestors, were slowly being pressured out by the monarchy. I wonder why the monarchy didn’t just give these families some sheep to raise for the crown.

The ride back to Oban was nice. Since it had grown overcast and the wind was getting worse, I decided to stay inside the ferry rather than go back on top as I had on the ride out to Mull. It was much too cold to be outside.