Thursday, 24 September 2009

Mull and Iona

From Cumbria earlier this week my parents and I visited the Scottish west coast and the islands of Mull and Iona

Right on the edge of the ocean the land becomes fluid with the wind and the sea. Rocks and hillsides rise suddenly from the tides and lochs fill up any low place in this beautiful area. Iona’s light and colour is often praised, perhaps because the sky is so large there. Here’s a sunset over our campsite on the Ross of Mull.

Even Iona’s rocks are extravagantly coloured and organic.

Rockpools cluster with Mussels, Limpets, Anemones and seaweeds. More camera-shy were Eider Ducks, Gannets, Guillemots, Herons and the occasional Seal.

One moment we had light bright enough to turn the sea crystal, and the next moment the wind rushed in rain storms. Honestly, the seasons changed every ten minutes.

Iona is most famous for the abbey established there by St Columba who came to the island in 563 and was important in spreading Christianity from Ireland to Scotland and England. The Book of Kells is likely to have been written there, and Iona is still home to much beautiful Celtic stonework.

The modern cloisters draw upon the Celtic tradition of creating sacred art from the natural world. 

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