Friday, 27 May 2011

A day trip to Iona

This is the day I have been looking forward to, a visit to 'my island', ha ha. The ferry leaves from Fionnphort, on the south of the island, so I had a fairly lengthy drive of almost two hours. This can't be done any quicker because of the constant stopping and starting on the single track roads. Often there are sheep and cows straying loose, no one seems to bother, but it's best not to run into them, ha ha.

There are three old and rotting boats laid in the water by the side of the road. The sun was in the wrong place to get a good shot of the insides of the boats, so I like the second one better.



I had just missed the ferry, but not to worry, the next one won't be long. Time to take some shoreline shots.



The sea looks very choppy, but no rain thank goodness.







Here she comes, tossed around like a cork, bobbing up and down in the water. The boat goes backwards and forwards continually, so if you see it on the other side you know it won't be long before it comes back. It's a fifteen minute crossing and a return ticket is £4.50.

Well that wasn't too bad, here we are arriving at the jetty at Baile Mor. No vehicles are allowed on Iona apart from those who belong to people who live there, and from time to time service vehicles which need access to work there. A BT van was on the ferry as they needed to do some repairs. Bicycles go free, and there is only one proper tarmac road, all the rest are farm tracks.

Approaching the landing ramp.

The boat ramp is being lowered.

Now it's ok to get off.

There's a few people waiting to go back.

Just then the wind got up and a downpour was brewing. These brave souls were off for a trip round the caves of Staffa Island. They are welcome to it, you wouldn't get me onto one of those motorised airbeds.

The library book came in usefull again as I decided to follow the advised walks. This is St Columbas's Chapel, a retreat which can accommodate 23 people.

I approached the Abbey through the back gate, from across the fields, later I noticed there was a front gate and an entrance fee to pay. Whoops-a-daisy, I should have paid for my look around.

There weren't many people about so it was very peacefull

Heading up towards the top end of the island I took the footpath on the left, to climb the only hill on Iona, the summit of Dun I. Although it has a height of only 333 feet, the extensive views takes in the whole of the island and some of the nearby islands.

There was no one else up there, it was sunny and a little bit breezy, with beautiful views.



I found a little bit of heaven on 'my island'.





Time to come down and explore a bit more. I retraced my steps back to Baile Mor, and set off in the other direction to the golf course on the west coast. This gate intrigued me, I had to take a closer look. It looks very much like an old mattress which has been stripped of it's stuffing. What a novel idea to make use of the springs.

There is time to spend a few minutes strolling the grounds of the ruins of the Benedictine Nunnery. These walls are amongst the best examples of a Medieval Nunnery in Britain today.


I was lucky with the weather today, it started clouding over as I waited for the boat to go back. Iona is a lovely place. I got my souvenir fridge magnet which has joined the rest on my fridge door.

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful!!!! Have been to Skye and Rasaay but would like to see more of the islands. Hope the midges were good to you. We were bothered really badly by the midge.

    And you can't beat a decent fridge magnet!!!

    eeek - won't let me post under my name bloody blogger still not right!!!

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  2. Your name-sake looks delightful, such blue skies!
    I can't imagine living somewhere so peaceful.

    I discovered if I unchecked the "stay signed in" box, I can comment as myself.

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  3. Fantastic pictures! This island looks very tranquil. Glad you had a good time there.

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  4. I loved the colours of the stone walls of the nunnery.
    I went in the early '90s.
    The place you mentioned that said there was a fee to look around didn't have charges when we went. It was also some kind of retreat then too.
    The tea shop nearby had the most delish home-made food too!
    Happy memories!

    Sandie xx

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  5. I've been reading your blog for a while now and finally decided to leave a comment and join as a follower.
    I've posted about my favourite author Derek Tangye, on my blog today and I noticed that you have had a few comments from a few that are looking to buy his books. I've left a link on my blog to let anyone know where they can get them.

    Thank you for sharing you lovely 'jaunts' so I can holiday with you. The pictures are beautiful and I'm loving every new adventure you take us on....I'm with you all the way.

    Maa http://maasjournal2.blogspot.com/2011/05/relaxed-reading.html

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  6. Loving your photos. The boats look quite spooky on the shore. I'm glad you got good weather for the crossing to Iona. I certainly wouldn't be rushing to go on the "motorised airbed" either. The one in the picture looks overcrowded to me. Your trip brings back memories for me of my visits to Harris when I was little. The beaches there are fantastic. Iona looks a lovely place, very serene. Re your "free entry", myself and a friend did that at the Bagpiping Championships in Glasgow, didn't realise, but no one seemed to notice. ;) Thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and seeing your photos. Cheers for now, Christy. x

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  7. What an amazing photo of those boats, very professional.

    ~c~

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