Being here in Iona the past couple of days has been very interesting and informative, as well as plenty of fun time. We have learned so many different things about this place, although when I first heard what Iona was, I didn’t exactly know the importance and history of the island. But once learning some of the background and seeing how beautiful Iona and the surrounding islands were, it began to make a lot more sense. In the two short days we were here, the group learned a lot about the importance of the religious work that was done here, and we also got to see the beauty that Iona and the surrounding islands have to offer. It may be cold, windy, and rainy on occasion, as we experienced on our first day here, but this place has some pretty scenery and it was a very important religious place at one time. The beauty and history of Iona makes it a one of a kind place, and it’s tough to imitate it anywhere else.
Iona is most famously known for the Iona Abbey and the nunnery that was here during the medieval time period. The most infamous monk, St. Columba, was known for some of the best religious writings and work that was completed during the time period. Columba was very prestigious among the religious community and his name and his works were well known. One thing that separated Columba from others was his dedication to his work. Just before a person approaches the Iona Abbey, they will see a hill made of rocks. This hill is believed to be a shack, where Columba could separate himself in order to do his work and compose his writings. His dedication and the quality of his work is what set him apart. Columba was actually from Ireland, and actually came here in order to perform the religious duties that he dedicated his life to. The Iona Abbey is a symbol of dedication and passion, driven by Columba, a man who was determined and focused on performing his religious duties.
The other aspect of Iona that stood out to me was the landscape and the beauty that a person sees when they visit Iona and the surrounding islands. Today we were taken on a boat tour of the surrounding islands, and we stopped at the island of Staffa. Staffa is an island about an hour away from Iona by boat, and it was very pretty. There was a cave in the island that was absolutely amazing, and we also the view of the other islands from the top of Staffa. Being able to see that far and see the other surrounding islands from that high was truly amazing. The view from the hostel here is also pretty awesome, as we see a field and then we see the Atlantic. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and even though we leave tomorrow, this was a great place to visit for a few days.
Well, tomorrow we leave for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Then from there we head to Glasgow and then into Wales. It’s hard to believe we are pretty much half way through this trip. This group is truly amazing, and we have so much more learning and adventures ahead of us! Well, with that, I leave you until next time. Cheers!