Driving to Iona and Mull Part 1
It’s half way through a busy day at the office. You are trying to prepare the accounts for the boss while twenty other distractions are coming your way. Your phone is ringing, the office phone is ringing, emails keep piling up and when you think you are ahead of things they just keep on coming. While there is nothing I like more than diving into work and being productive, sometimes a little getaway is required to clear one’s mind!
This week, My Saturday Drive went to the isles of Iona and Mull, on the west coast of Scotland. I consider myself lucky to live in a country where it only takes a short drive to get away from the madness 21st century society can be. Drive for just a couple of hours out of Glasgow and all you’ll be surrounded by is 400 million year old hills and lochs. You won’t hear the mad rush of the city, you won’t breathe in the polluted air. Instead, you will be greeted by tranquility and you’ll be surrounded by views on views!
The drive from Glasgow to Oban, the town for the first ferry of the day, takes you on one of the most popular routes to go up north in Scotland.
The time is 5am, and everyone is asleep. Driving at this time of the day, well ahead of anyone being on the road has a certain charm to it. You own the road! But you don’t rush, because you don’t need to. You just glide along, from junction to junction, getting the car nice and warm for the journey ahead.
The first bit of road, Glasgow to Balloch is a pretty straight forward mix of dual carriage ways and city driving. From Balloch to Tarbet however, that’s when it starts to get a bit more fun. The A82 follows the west shore line of Loch Lomond and is a great mix of fast straights and fixed radius high speed bends – a great introduction to the proper driving that is about to commence.
From Tarbet to Crianlarich, A82 transforms from a fast smooth road to a narrow twisty hell! This is when you start to work and when hopefully, any caffeine you had kicks in. Oil is up to temp, you take a confidence inspiring downshift into second which sends you flying towards the speed limit. But not even close to that and you need to slow down to take the next bend. It’s a slow but fun bit of road and can satisfy any driver. Corners are tight, but visibility is good and you don’t need a lot of speed to feel like you are going fast.
The sun is starting to creep up by now and we are driving alongside Loch Awe. Whoever named it, must have stumbled on to it at the crack of dawn because, my God the views here are amazing! The road is still fun and twisty but you start driving a bit more chilled and enjoy the wonderful views all around you.
An just like that, 2 hours fly by and we arrive in Oban.
The ferry is waiting for us. We drive on, park up and get ready for an hour of just taking in a perfect sunrise over the Scottish Isles. It’s incredible how Scotland can be so pretty once the sun is up.
The ride from Oban to Craignure (the port on Isle of Mull) takes about an hour and a half. It is a smooth sail and it is a great opportunity to stretch your legs, get a coffee and enjoy the wonderfull views Scotland has to offer.
A great example is the Eilean Musdile light house – a great indication of what is next to come on our adventure.
Stay tuned and check back for Part 2 of our trip where we drive on Isle of Mull and visit Iona!
What do you think so far?