2000 - Fort William, Kyle and Iona
A four-day expedition, with trains, ferries and buses interacting with military precision, co-ordinating expeditionary travel into one harmonious whole. I for one was a little surprised at how smoothly it all went, given the number of connections that needed to be made, with little margin for error.
The full route was:
Inverness, Kyle of Lochalsh, Skye, Mallaig, Fort William, Oban, Mull, Iona and back via Oban to Glasgow.
The only time things looked a little doubtful was the bus across Skye from the bridge at Kyleakin to the ferry at Armadale. A number of foreign tourists (American, as it just happened) kept the bus driver fully engaged in complex calculations over routes, times and costs, such that the departure was somewhat behind schedule. However the driver was clearly very familiar not only with the route but also with the limits of his vehicle's g-forces on the narrow, winding road to the ferry. Fortunately the other drivers on the route were also familiar with the bus's braking distances, and made appropriate allowances. We were not the first in the queue at the slipway, but certainly not the last either.
The other feature of the trip was a bus ride across Mull to Iona, reached by a short ferry ride from Fionnphort. The atmosphere of the place is a little muted by the large quantities of tourists (us included) bearing down on the cathedral from the tea-shops and cafes clustered around the ferry. An out-of-season visit might pay dividends.
An itinerary is here.