Monday, 5 March 2012

Pilgrimage to Iona

We followed the old pilgrim track to Iona. Not a difficult task, as the route follows the old road still visible in many places alongside the main single track "main" road to Fionnphort which is the ferry port for Iona. Both roads wend their way through the spectacular Glen More, great when the sun shines but quite foreboding in the misty conditions more normally encountered. For pilgrims of yesteryears it must have been a weary toilsome journey, " not another hill to climb!" They would have, needed to be aware of local marauding bands who did not welcome strangers in their territories, but mostly allowed bona fide pilgrims to pass through unharmed. Glenmore was also reputed to be the home of a dragon ( mental note to follow that story at a later date).

So after avoiding dragons and brigands, on a blustery March day we boarded the Calmac ferry. We rocked and rolled our way across the Sound of Iona, well noted for it's ability to stop the ferry if winds stir up the waters too much. Before Calmac's modern diesel ferry yet another trial in a small boat for the medieval pilgrim! At this time of the year the island has few visitors and no "facilities" open but at least it is possible to enjoy the Abbey in peace and quiet (apart from one noisy infant!) instead of sharing the experience with hordes of visitors from all over the world. The Abbey is one of the most visited tourist attractions on the west coast of Scotland even though it is in such a relatively remote place. We even found a quiet seat in the cloisters to eat our sandwiches, whilst admiring the carvings on the roof supports.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comment