So the tour continued from the Isle of Mull in to the crossing by ferry from there to the peaceful Isle of Iona. But this island although it became a training centre for Monks who would in those early years live in beehive shaped stone huts, where they would meditate in solitude within their prayers. It became a major pilgrimage centre when the Abbey was built.. Iona is also an Isle situated upon the trading routes between Ireland and Western Scotland. And many Kings are buried there.. Many scholars believe that The Book of Kells started its creative life there in the 8th Century.
It also saw its share of violence in many Viking raids as they plundered the riches of the Abbey. Many Monks were slaughtered during this time.. More history of these events you can find out by clicking the underlined links .
The Ferry came in as we waited on the shores of Mull, above are the stunning views as we waited for the Ferry.
The Isle of Iona is a serene Isle which only has a population of around 13o people.
It has one of the oldest and most sacred religious places in all of western Europe.. It was founded by St Columba in AD 563, the fully restored Abbey is one of Scotland’s most significant and sacred sites which is reputed to be the burial place of 48 Kings of Scotland, including Macbeth.
The first site to greet us was the ruins of the Old Nunnery, which was founded in 1200, by Reginald, son of Somerled (Lord of the Isles). Who installed his sister Beatrice there as prioress forming the first order of Nuns there. The Nunnery earned the name of The Black Church because of the black habits worn by the nuns
This part of the Abbey has not been restored and still lays in ruins.
Before we walked the rest of the way up to the Abbey of Iona we went past a small cottage with a sign in its window.. Home Made Soup.. It was well past lunch time so we went in and had a take away bowl of home made broccoli soup and home made bread roll. The occupants were delighted to see so many of our coach party and promptly sent the message back into their kitchen as more soup was put on as we said there were at least 40 more walking up the hill .. It was delicious
Just a little further along we got to the Abbey of Iona Gates If you look you can see a Stone Cross in the middle of the Abbey above the people walking. More photo’s and information can be found Here about these Crosses which have looked out across this ever changing World for more than 1,200 years.
We went walk about’s in the time allotted to explore a little bit more of this community and passed the local Fire Station
We went exploring some more coming across this memorial cross with the names of those who gave their lives in the 1914-1918 Great War.. And one must wonder what impact losing so many husbands and sons had on this small community.. The names of which and closer pictures of this cross can be found at the sight of The Scottish Military Research Group Here
And to finish off this beautiful peaceful time spent on the Isle before we caught the next to ferry back to the Isle of Mull I will share these lovely views with you.
Wishing you ALL a very Peaceful Weekend
Love and Blessings