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Dun I, Iona

Dun I, Iona


Postby John Doh » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:49 pm

Date walked: 07/06/2019

Time taken: 2.5 hours

Ascent: 101m

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7 June was a beautiful day on the Isle of Mull. After a late breakfast we headed down to Fionnphort to catch the ferry to Iona. It's a car ferry but I understand only cars of the islanders and overnight guests may take the car to the island. It's a small island and you can reach anything on foot anyway. Take a few quid for the parkingmeter though...

Looking over to Iona from the car park. You can see the abbey and the hill, Dun I. I told you it was a beautiful day.

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Views from the ferry towards the abbey beyond the turquoise waters.

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Once on the island, most visitors head towards the abbey and it can feel a bit touristy (if you're used to the solitude of the Outer Hebrides that is). Anyway, before reaching the abbey you come by the Nunnery, which is an important historic monument in its own name, but of course, the abbey steals the show.

The nunnery:

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After 15 minutes or so you reach the abbey. Entry costs 9 quid for an adult but you get an audioguide and it really is quite interesting to explore this important center of early Christianity. I'll spare you the details but it is from here that the Irish monk Columba and his brethren christianised Scotland and other parts of Europe, amongst others, Switzerland. For example, Gallus was a disciple of Columba, he founded the monastery and city of St. Gall. And on lake Zurich, there are the towns of Stäfa and Jona. Get it? Right, Staffa and Iona...

I was pleased to see there were almost no scaffolding on the abbey as on many photos of the past few years, the abbey was scaffolded. Here, I am looking at the abbey with the original old pilgrimage path in the foreground.

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By the way, Iona was also a burying ground for Scottish kings and I understand many of them are buried in the graveyard. I didn't even take a picture of it, it is not extremely picturesque, but some of the tombstones can be viewed inside the abbey.

Abbey and St. Martin's cross.

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After an interesting visit of the abbey, we continued the street towards Dun I, the island hill. There is a path up there which can be acceded through a gate by the house after a field with Iona "pods" (wee houses resembling a tent, it's called "glamping" :roll: ).

Anyway, here are the pods, and then the gate and the path.

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The first part of the path is easy going but the middle section requires a bit of scrambling and disabled persons will not make it up there. Looking back over the pods to the abbey from the middle ground.

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The wife on the hillside.

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The last section is again easy if a bit steep and can be slippery. It takes no more than 15 minutes to climb to the staggering hight of 101 meters above sea level. Approaching the summit with trig and cairn.

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The climb is worth it. Looking North over the trig from left to right the Dutchmans Hat and Lunga left of the trig and Staffa to the right.

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The same without trig.

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And South:

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Pano:

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After a wee picknick in this fantastic surroundings, we headed back down to the port to wait for the ferry. A very nice ambiance with a few midges (not on the picture).

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The saililng boat on the right is the Birthe Marie and can be hired for sailing tours, which we did earlier in our holiday but as this is a walking site and not a sailing site, there will be no report on that. It was pouring anyway but I'll still post a few teasers from our trip round the tidal island of Erraid with interesting geological features and nice wildlife.

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Back on the Isle of Mull, we took the "scenic route" back towards Tobermory, a desolate stretch of road but scenic indeed. Here is one last bonus island pic taken on this road, depicting the island of Inch Kenneth, home of the famous Mitford sisters and alternative burial ground for the Scottish kings when the ferry crossing to Iona was not possible due to bad weather. Unfortunately, there are no scheduled boat trips to Inch Kenneth because it would make for a fascinating visit.

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John Doh
 
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Re: Dun I, Iona

Postby Caberfeidh » Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:17 pm

John Doh wrote:The sailing boat on the right is the Birthe Marie and can be hired for sailing tours, which we did earlier in our holiday but as this is a walking site and not a sailing site, there will be no report on that.


Nice pictures, I for one would appreciate a bit of sailing report. Shiver me timbers, etc.
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Re: Dun I, Iona

Postby Mr Tattie Heid » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:17 pm

A fine report as always, Peat, uh, John. A couple of points: only residents can bring cars over, not guests. But there's no need for a car. If you're staying at a B&B or such that isn't close by the ferry landing, your host will most likely pick you up. I stayed at the farthest possible B&B last time I was there (nice view over the bay at the back side of the island), and it wasn't too long a walk to the pub. (Bring a flashlight/torch, though--it's very dark walking back if the moon isn't out.) Also, there's a free parking lot just outside Fionnphort, so there isn't any need to plug the meters in the village.
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Re: Dun I, Iona

Postby John Doh » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:22 pm

Caberfeidh wrote:
Nice pictures, I for one would appreciate a bit of sailing report. Shiver me timbers, etc.


Thanks. The sailing report wouldn't be very entertaining as it was pouring so no good photies. It was great fun to be on the boat though especially as the skipper let me take the helm for a good bit 8)
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Re: Dun I, Iona

Postby John Doh » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:23 pm

Mr Tattie Heid wrote:A fine report as always, Peat, uh, John. A couple of points: only residents can bring cars over, not guests. But there's no need for a car. If you're staying at a B&B or such that isn't close by the ferry landing, your host will most likely pick you up. I stayed at the farthest possible B&B last time I was there (nice view over the bay at the back side of the island), and it wasn't too long a walk to the pub. (Bring a flashlight/torch, though--it's very dark walking back if the moon isn't out.) Also, there's a free parking lot just outside Fionnphort, so there isn't any need to plug the meters in the village.


Ta, Tattie. I thought it would be a good idea to stay overnight on the island to soak up the atmosphere with all the daytrippers gone.
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Re: Dun I, Iona

Postby Sunset tripper » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:00 pm

Another great island report John. Looked like a nice day and cracking pics. I love Iona, a real peaceful place. Dun I is a fantastic viewpoint for such a lowly summit.
The car park Mr. tattie mentioned is at the Old columba centre just a short distance from the pay car park. I believe the Argyll and Bute council are eyeing up all the car parks in Mull - seeing them as a fast buck - a real shame I think. :(
All the best :D
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Re: Dun I, Iona

Postby John Doh » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:44 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:Another great island report John. Looked like a nice day and cracking pics. I love Iona, a real peaceful place. Dun I is a fantastic viewpoint for such a lowly summit.
The car park Mr. tattie mentioned is at the Old columba centre just a short distance from the pay car park. I believe the Argyll and Bute council are eyeing up all the car parks in Mull - seeing them as a fast buck - a real shame I think. :(
All the best :D


Thanks. I am used to astronomic parking tariffs in Zurich, so a quid an hour at Fionnphort seemed reasonable :)
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