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Iona, Spiritual Island

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Tuesday, August 24 2004

1 month, 2 days

Iona, Scotland

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Land Rover 5,662km

Trekking 133km

Ferry 131km

Train 150km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm. > journey > europe > scotland > 20040824-iona

"Carry that torch",

Map: Journey Scotland.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

Stephen and Jon leave me in Fort Williams. "You are doing something very special". And both of them express their admiration pointing out that I was not just doing the trip for myself but for everyone who would follow it on the web and live through the emotional difficulties as well as the pleasures.

I take their advise and leave Fort William, but it makes me sad because I have become so used to my new friends.

On the other hand, and this I only slowly grasp, this premonition that I really ought to play a far bigger role because I am doing something many would like to do themselves ....

For now this thought gives me my enthusiasm back.

I drive to the west on the northern shore of Loch Eil first then turn round and back west on the lochs southern shore on a beautiful single track road. The road leads south along Loch Linnhe. At Lochaline I cross over to the Isle of Mull further south I am spending the night in Finnporth at the south-western end of Mull.

Road on Mull
Road to Mull.

Loch in Clouds
Loch in clouds.
Road on Mull
Suddenly the sun manages to shine through - for a moment.

Island of Iona.

The next morning I take the first boat to Iona, a small island off Finnporth's coast. Iona has a history of Christianity for more then 1,000 years.The abby they lay in ruins after reformation was only rebuilt this century by the Iona community that works from the island promoting Christianity in a contemporary, modern way, accessible for young people. The spirituality takes hold of me immediately after getting onto the island and outlasts the visit to the abby when I walk along its secluded beaches, moors and cliffs for 3 hours.

Reality is back quickly when I board the ship back and I am glad that I have taken the first boat this morning when I run into hundreds of tourists that pile off the tour busses onto the ferry and then the isle itself. It would not have been as tranquil and peaceful and you would not be have been able to feel the spirituality, the calm that has engulfed this place in the morning.

Iona beach
Beack on Iona.

Ian Mulligan
Ian Mulligan, Land Rover lover.

Before I leave Finnporth I meet Ian Milligan (picture), and Stuart McDougal, two local Land Rover enthusiasts.

"Now, if I die tomorrow. That's fine, now that I have seen a six-wheeler" says Ian Mulligan at some point and I promise to send the picture.

Driving around mull

Later I pick up Riu from Portugal and give him a lift all the way to Tobermory, a little fishing village on the northern coast of Mull.

We put on one of Bruckner's symphony (Riu likes classical music). And that is a whole new experience. Listening to classical music (loud of course) in conjunction with looking at the beauty of the scenery makes us tremble and never forget.

Next morning, 25th I take the ferry over to Kilchoan on Adnamurchan.

This is mainland Scotland again. Although with so many lochs you never really know whether you drive along the shore of an island or the mainland or whether the water next to you is connected to the open sea or not. This is of no further interest to me as the landscape remains stunning whether sea or loch or island or mainland. And the wind and weather cannot not harm me anymore as I stay inside my truck when it rains and only venture outside when the weather allows to do so.

Anna-Lena and Charles
Anna-Lena and Charles

I reach Mallgai later in the day and board a ferry to the Isle of Skye one of the largest islands and greatest scenery attractions in Scotland or at least the most marketed.

The weather is the best I had in Scotland so-far. I give a lift to Anna-Lena and Charles two young Germans spending their holidays on the Island.

Later the sunset is extraordinary and I manage to take some pictures from the Cullin Hills (Munroes over 900m high).

Tonight I settle on the campground in Bualintur at the foot of the Cullin Hills and at the southern shore of Skye. I am reading "The dead of Winter" a book by Dominic Cooper, which Nadine gave me. The right book for traveling the Scottish Islands.

PS re Cooper: On the Internet I find absolutely nothing on him just that he won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976.

MS and Land Rover in front of Cullins
The Cullins, my Land Rover and superb weather.
MS and Land Rover in front of Cullins
Time to get the Nikon out.

MS in front of Cullins
To go walking remained just a good plan, ....

The weather always the weather. it makes me change my original plan to climb on the top of the Cullin Hills the next morning. This time it is really bad with horizontal rains and gusts.

I visit Talisker distilleries instead and stock up with 2 bottles of single malt whisky for the rainy days to come.

I make my way quicker around Skye then I previously envisioned, drive trough Poitree and take the ferry from Uig to Harris 43km away. I have set foot onto the Outer Hebrides where I would stay for 2 weeks and a bit. > journey > europe > scotland > 20040824-iona

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