Sunday’s blog post didn’t happen due to the amazing amount of rain we experienced. Wow, well, must be summer, it’s raining and we’re in Scotland! So what you missed out on was; card games, board games, waffles – they were really good, you missed out on some seriously good breakfast – and a very brief walk in the afternoon, before the rain started again.
Today however, it’s sunshine all the way. In order to make the most of the day, we decided to set off and cross over, rather ferry over, the narrow sliver of water that separates the Isles of Mull and Iona, burial ground of the ancient Kings of Scotland, home of Iona Abbey (founded by St. Columba in 563).
The ferry ride across from Fionnphort to Bail Mor is quick, like 10 minutes quick. It’s also a crossing I’ve done several times before, once in somewhat rough conditions, and still found it safe and quick. From the port you can wander of almost all of the small island, on foot, because there’s no cars. After disembarking the ferry, head up to the right and you can’t miss the Abbey – be sure to stop along the way and examine the incredible stone-carving on the celtic-crosses, especially the fabulous McLean’s cross. We took advantage of the sun still shining and sat up near St. Columba’s ‘mound’ and ate our lunch, soaking up as many of the rays as we could.
After a bite to eat we then made our way down into the Abbey itself, passing through the old wooden door to the right side of the building, and into the main part of the Abbey, where the services are held, and where you can see a lot of old headstones from community members, and of course, Scottish royalty.
Exploring the cloisters turned out to be rather amusing for us, there’s a nice little gift shop near it, which has some amazing jewellery from Sheila Fleet – check her out here, amazing work! From there it was back to the ferry (and maybe a quick browse through the nearby cafe, wouldn’t bother stopping there, didn’t look too fresh) and back onto the ferry. Another smooth sailing and a walk up the hill to our digs, and that was our day complete. Tomorrow, we go back along the A849, and visit somewhere I’ve been trying to get back to for several years…