Copyright 2011 Angeline Fortin
The Isle of Mull, Scotland
“There she is, lassie.”
Emmy gripped the edge of the window and stared at the panoramic view of the distant castle the driver’s finger pointed toward as the bus traveled the winding road along the eastern coastline of the Isle of Mull. In the distance was the last destination on her ten-day UK vacation. Starting naturally in London, she had taken in the sights of Wales and Yorkshire, before traveling from there on to Edinburgh and Glasgow. The distant edifice was the last spectacle she had come so far to see: Duart Castle - the ancestral home of the clan MacLean for hundreds of years.
Her guidebook told her the name Duart meant “Black Point” in Gaelic and, based on the view from the ferry as she had crossed the Sound of Mull that afternoon from mainland Scotland, she knew why it bore that name. The castle did indeed sit on black earth that contrasted with the waters of the sound and the overcast sky behind it. When she had first spotted the castle from the ferry on her arrival, the clouds had hung so low that they almost clung to the land between the water and the castle, nearly obscuring her view of it. Now, as the bus approached Duart from the ferry terminus at Craignure, she could see its prominent outline jutting out from the crag against the skies beyond. Dipping below the layer of cloud, the late afternoon sun lit the West-facing side as she neared, showing the wear of centuries on the face of the building.