As it turned out, getting from Reykjavik to my next destination of Oban in a timely fashion ended up being rather difficult.
After having my flight to Glasgow be pretty damn delayed, I had to hit the ground running the second I got off the plane. One mercifully short encounter with border control later, I ran out to the baggage carousel and hoped that my backpack would come out quickly for the first time in my life.
The travel gods must have heard me as it only took a few minutes to appear!
I hauled it onto my back, ran out of the airport and managed to get on the airport to Glasgow city bus seconds before it left. After a short ride into Glasgow, I jumped off at Queen Street Station and ran into the train station just minutes before my train to Oban was due to leave.
However, the machine where you collect your pre-purchased tickets decided to kick me when I was down and only dispense tickets for the return leg of my trip – not the tickets I needed for the train leaving literally about two minutes later!
After trying (and failing) to get my tickets again I ran to the gate and hurriedly explained my situation to one of the stations employees – who took pity on me and quickly wrote a special code on the back of my ticket receipt to show the ticket inspector. He pushed me through the nearest train doors literally 6 seconds before they closed and for the first time in hours, I could let out a sigh of relief!
After finding my seat and buying some well earned snacks from the trolley, I settled in for the 3 hour journey to Oban.
After arriving in Oban, eating haggis for dinner, eating mac and cheese for second dinner and showering the stress of the day away, I tucked myself into bed so that I could get a good nights sleep before an early rise in the morning.
I awoke feeling refreshed and before long, was off on the early morning ferry to my first stop – the Isle of Mull.
Now – not so long ago you may remember me mentioning how my forgetful self forgot her neutral density lens filter. On this particular day I managed to do one better and forget to put my fully charged battery into my camera. After a few moments of feeling rather annoyed at my own stupidity, I resigned myself to using my iPhone for the day.
After a lovely ferry ride to Craignure on the Calmac ferry and a beautifully scenic bus ride from Craignure to Fionnphort it was finally time for the reason for all this travel.
A boat trip to the Isle of Staffa to see Fingals Cave!
Staffa is an isle in the inner hebrides of Scotland and is famous for its remarkable appearance! The tiny island is made up of hexagonal basalt columns – much like those at the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland. The island boasts a cave made up of these stunning pillars, which can be entered when the sea conditions allow it.
The boat trip out to Staffa can be mighty choppy – so make sure you wear waterproof gear and take motion sickness medicines if you are prone to getting seasick. The trip can also be incredibly stunning, and if you are as lucky as I was, can even result in a special visit from some beautiful marine life.
Approaching the isle is pretty magnificent – far more so than my iPhone pictures can show!
Despite the choppy water and blustery weather conditions, we were able to dock long enough to disembark the small boat and explore!
The walk to the entrance of the cave is rather slippery and more than one person had a fall in the short time we were there. Make sure you take care when exploring and wear a strong pair of hiking boots with good gripping soles.
The cave itself is much smaller than I had thought it would be, but still absolutely beautiful.
After getting my fill of the cave, I had a little time left, so decided to climb up the steep steps to the top of the isle, so that I could view the cave from above.
I am not going to lie – getting the next picture required some pretty precarious foot placement at the edge of the cliff. It was incredibly windy too – I am lucky that my apparent disregard for my own safety didn’t have any ill fated consequences.
It is a pretty picture though!
After almost getting blown away by the Scottish wind it was time to head back to Mull via the Isle of Iona.
The stop on Iona was only a short one; but it was long enough to defrost with a nice hot toddy and explore some beautiful ruins.
T H E L O W D O W N
Getting to Oban: Scotrail run several trips per day from Glasgow
Getting to Fionnphort: Calmac ferries go from Oban to Craignure several times daily – from Craignure, catch the 496 bus to Fionnphort
Boat Trip to Staffa: Staffa Tours run trips to Staffa daily, click here for more details
Camera: iPhone 6
Remember: Waterproof clothing, motion sickness remedies and to put the battery in your camera!